ISLAMABAD — roadside bomb in northwestern Pakistan Sunday killed a senior government official and at least four of his security guards.
The deadly blast took place in Bajaur, a volatile federally administered tribal district on the Afghan border.
Officials said the administrator of the Mamoond sub-district, Fawad Ali, was being driven to a border village to attend a traditional assembly of tribal elders when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device.
A spokesman for the anti-state Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibly for planting the roadside bomb. In a statement sent to media via email, Muhammad Khurasani asserted the blast killed seven people, including Ali.
The outlawed extremist group and its breakaway factions plot attacks in the border region and elsewhere in Pakistan, saying their violent campaign is aimed at eliminating what they consider to be the current un-Islamic democratic system in the country.
The militant violence has killed tens of thousands of Pakistanis over the years.
Bajaur borders the volatile eastern Afghan province of Kunar where fugitive Pakistani militants have taken refugee and extremists loyal to Afghanistan’s branch of Islamic State are also well-entrenched .
Pakistani officials allege militants have taken shelter on the other side of the border after fleeing security operations and plot terrorist attacks against Pakistan from their Afghan sanctuaries.
Islamabad accuses Kabul's intelligence agency of backing the terrorist activity. But Afghan authorities reject the charges and in turn blame Pakistan for supporting militant violence on their soil.
This story first appeared on Voice of America & is reposted here with permission.