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Blast Hits Pakistani Checkpoint
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A suspected suicide bomber has killed at least 12 people in an attack on a checkpoint in north-west Pakistan, officials say.

A number of people were also injured when the bomber attacked the checkpoint in Khar, the main town in the troubled Bajaur tribal region.

Pakistani security forces have been battling militants in the Khar area.

Government officials said on Friday that at least 24 suspected militants had been killed in the fighting.

"It looks like a suicide attack," regional police official Fazl-e-Rabi told Reuters news agency after the checkpoint attack.

He added that at least seven of the dead appeared to have been passersby.

Initial reports suggested the attacker was in a vehicle. A local official later told AFP news agency the bomber had been wearing a suicide belt.

The army mounted a major offensive against Taliban militants in Bajaur in August 2008, ending in a truce early last year.

Close to the Afghan border, Bajaur has long been suspected of being the hiding-place of Osama Bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and other top al-Qaeda leaders.
Source: BBC

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