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Page last updated at 09:03 GMT, Saturday, 20 September 2008 10:03 UK

Deadly attack on Pakistani convoy

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A suicide bomber has attacked a Pakistani army convoy in a restive northwest region near the Afghan border, killing at least six people.

The bomber struck near Miranshah in North Waziristan - an area renowned as a haven for militants involved in attacks on Nato forces in Afghanistan.

The US has accused Pakistan of not doing enough to eliminate Taleban and al-Qaeda sanctuaries in the area.

A child and two other civilians were among the victims, the army said.

It said three soldiers were killed and five more had been injured as the attacker crashed a car filled with explosives into the convoy.

Spate of attacks

In recent months, US forces based in Afghanistan have stepped up attacks against suspected Taleban targets in Pakistan's tribal region, prompting reports of civilian casualties that have angered the predominantly Muslim nation.

Pakistani troops in the Khyber region
The army has launched a number of offensives in the border region

Pakistani government officials say such tactics seriously undermine their own counter-insurgency operations.

The country's army has warned direct US action could rally more tribesmen behind the Taleban and incite a wider uprising.

Pakistan has deployed 100,000 of its own troops in an attempt to flush out insurgents in its restive north-western border regions, and says recent military operations have killed hundreds of suspected militants.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for Saturday's blast, although the Pakistani Taleban have said they were behind a spate of recent suicide bombings which they said were carried out in revenge for the military offensives.

Newly elected President Asif Ali Zardari was expected to discuss the security situation in a key speech later on Saturday.


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