South Asia News
Blast near militant base in Pakistan kills 20 (2nd Lead)
Feb 18, 2010, 11:00 GMT
Islamabad - A bomb killed at least 20 people, mostly Islamist insurgents, in Pakistan's restive Khyber tribal region near the Afghan border on Thursday, officials said.
More than 50 people were wounded in the explosion near a militant base in the Akkakhel area in Tirah valley, a stronghold of Islamist insurgents involved in attacks on trucks carrying US and NATO supplies to Afghanistan.
'The blast struck a base of the Lashkar-e-Islam militant group, killing at least 20 people,' an intelligence official in the region said.
Earlier another intelligence official had said the bombing occurred in Orakzai district. Later on, he explained the reason for the confusion was that the site of the attack in Akkakhel village is located on the border between Khyber and Orakzai tribal districts.
Most of the casualties were moved to Orakzai, where hundreds of Taliban militants have taken refuge, fleeing a major offensive in South Waziristan.
It was not clear whether the blast was caused by a planted bomb or otherwise. However, the private Geo News television channel reported that a suicide bomber carried out the attack.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing.