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Pakistan car bomb 'kills three'

Scene of bomb blast in in Peshawar  earlier in February
North-western Pakistan has become increasingly violent in recent months

At least three people have been killed by a car bomb which exploded outside the home of a government official in north-western Pakistan, police say.

They say that the bomb targeted a local anti-Taleban mayor in the suburb of Bazidkhel near the city of Peshawar. He survived but several people were hurt.

Officials say that the number of people killed could increase. Some television reports say six people were killed.

Mayor Fahim-ur-Rehman had opposed Islamic militants, news agencies said.

Restive valley

The BBC's Haroon Rashid in Islamabad says that he had also taken steps to raise a militia to fight the militants in north-western Pakistan.

Map

Officials say that the mayor had been entertaining friends at home when the bomb went off.

"The explosive device was planted in a car parked near Rehman's house," city police chief Safat Ghayur told the Reuters news agency.

The blast came a day after the government in North West Frontier Province signed a peace deal with a Taleban group that is to lead to the enforcement of Islamic Sharia law in the restive Swat valley.

Militants have stepped up attacks in the north-west since August, when Pakistani government forces launched an offensive in Swat and the tribal region of Bajaur on the Afghan border.

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