3 killed in mysterious explosion in North Waziristan: Tribesmen warn of ending peace deal
* Residents say house in Saidghai was attacked ‘from the air’
* House owner denies those killed were terrorists
MIRANSHAH: Three persons were reportedly killed and two others were injured when a house close to a madrassa near the Pak-Afghan border in North Waziristan was “hit” early on Friday morning. In a statement following the attack, a spokesman for pro-Taliban tribal militants said they would end the peace agreement with the government if “such attacks continue”.
A military official said the three men were killed in an explosion inside the home, denying that they were killed in a Pakistani or a foreign airstrike.
“According to our reports, there was an explosion at Muhammad Habib’s house and three guests were killed,” the official, asking not to be named, told Daily Times. He did not say whether the guests were locals or foreigners.
Residents claim that Habib’s house, located near Maulana Noor Muhammad’s madrassa in Saidghai, 15 kilometres north of Miranshah, was “attacked from the air” at 3:30am on Friday.
“We don’t know the identity or the type of the aircraft used in the attack since it was dark,” said a Saidghai resident.
Security forces have often targeted the area due to alleged presence of pro-Taliban tribal militants and there have been instances when US forces based in Afghanistan have violated the international border while chasing militants. Security forces killed seven suspected militants in an attack on Noor Muhammad’s madrassa in mid-2005.
Abdullah Farhad, a spokesman for pro-Taliban tribal militants, said they would pull out of a peace agreement reached with the government in North Waziristan if attacks like the one in Saidghai continue.
In telephone calls to various newspaper offices in Peshawar, Farhad said the militants would hold US forces responsible for the attack if Pakistani forces were not involved in the incident.
He said the Taliban Shoora would soon meet to take a decision on the peace deal following the Saidghai incident. He claimed that four missiles had been fired “from the air”, but only two of them exploded.
Agencies add: Security officials, asking not to be named, told AFP that four militant bomb-makers were killed when a cache of explosives blew up at a house in Saidghai village.
“Two blasts were heard around 3:30am. These militants were making bombs and they exploded, killing three people on the spot and wounding two others, one of whom died later,” one of the officials said.
The victims were believed to be Pakistani militants. “We don’t have any information that there was any foreigner in the house,” the official added.
An intelligence official told Reuters that the explosion was caused by a missile fired from a pilot-less drone aircraft operated by US forces in Afghanistan.
“The missile was probably fired by a US drone,” he said, adding that four people were killed, including two Afghans and two Pakistanis.
Muhammad Habib, the owner of the house, told The Associated Press that five missiles hit the building and two nearby madrassas. He said four of his guests were killed in the house. The attack caused the roof to collapse.
“I don’t know whether these missiles were fired from some plane or not, but those killed in the attack were not terrorists,” he said. Habib said he had been staying at another house in the village when the attack happened.