Khyber Agency: suicide attack kills 5 in Pakistan's volatile tribal region


A Pakistani solider stands guard overlooking the Khyber Pass on the Pakistani border with Afghanistan.


Paula Bronstein

Pakistani officials say a suicide attack today in Pakistan's troubled Khyber Agency tribal area has killed five people, reported CNN.

The Associated Press (AP) reported that the attack, claimed Pakistani Taliban spokesman Mohammed Afridi, targeted the Tirah Valley headquarters of the rival Lashkar-e-Islam group. It was not immediately clear if those killed were all militants or if there were civilian casualties. 

The two extremist groups clashes in the same area on March 2 in violence that killed 23 Lashkar-e-Islam militants, said AP

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An April report by the Jamestown Foundation says Tirah Valley has emerged as a "flashpoint" for warring militia factions. The Pakistani government has launched five operations over the past two years specifically targeted Lashkar-e-Islam militants but has been unable to oust them from the area, the report said.

The valley is located in the mostly lawless Khyber Agency, a tribal region bordering Afghanistan and known as a haven for extremists.

Violence there has caused at least 18,000 people to flee their homes, according to AFP