The blast damaged the pick-up in a remote village near the Afghan border in the Bajaur district
A POWERFUL roadside bomb targeting an anti-Taliban militia ripped through a pick-up vehicle in Pakistan`s tribal belt, killing at least five people, government officials said.
Pakistani troops have been fighting for years to dislodge Taliban militants in the northwestern district of Bajaur.
"It was a planted IED (improvised-explosive device) which exploded when the vehicle passed. Five people have been killed and eight others were wounded," Adalat Khan, a government official in Chamarkand village said.
"Three of those who died are members of an anti-Taliban militia and one is a 10-year-old boy. The fifth one is the driver."
Irshad Shah, another government official, confirmed the casualties although there were fears that the death toll could rise.
Washington considers the tribal belt a global headquarters of Al-Qaeda and the most dangerous region on earth, where Islamist militant groups are plotting attacks on American troops fighting in Afghanistan and on targets in the West.
Nearly 4,700 people have been killed across Pakistan in attacks blamed on Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked networks based in the country`s tribal belt since government troops stormed a radical mosque in Islamabad in 2007.
Militants oppose the government`s alliance in the US war on Al-Qaeda and logistical support for the 10-year fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Local tribesmen have set up anti-Taliban militias, sponsored by the government, in many parts of northwest Pakistan.
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