Page last updated at 11:45 GMT, Friday, 23 October 2009 12:45 UK

Fresh attacks rock north Pakistan


Police scour the rubble following the blast in Peshawar

At least 22 people have been killed in fresh violence in northern Pakistan, amid an upsurge of militant unrest.

A suicide bomber killed six people near an air force facility south-west of the capital, Islamabad.

In Peshawar, a car bombing wounded at least 15 people - the first attack in the city since an army offensive in the nearby region of South Waziristan.

Later at least 15 wedding guests - most of them children - were killed when their minibus hit an explosive device.


The incident occurred in the tribal area of Mohmand, about 35km (22 miles) from the district capital, Ghalnai.

The suicide bombing took place near the Kamra aeronautical complex, 60km (35 miles) north-west of Islamabad.

The bomber blew himself up when he was stopped at a checkpoint outside the complex. Among the dead were two security officials.

Daily violence

The car bomb in Peshawar was detonated by remote control in the parking area of a restaurant in a wealthy area, police said.

Fifteen people were wounded.

"It is part of the violence we are seeing across Pakistan these days," said Mian Iftikhar Hussain, the region's information minister was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.

BBC Pashto, Peshawar

The area where the blast occurred is an upmarket part of Peshawar surrounded by residential bungalows for the well-heeled of the city.

The facade of the Swan restaurant where the car bomb exploded had been badly damaged. Two nearby vehicles were also damaged but the area had not been busy at the time of the blast.

But one eyewitness told me the blast had been massive. He said it was like doomsday.

People in Peshawar have become used to the blasts - and they are frightened to go out. This is the third Friday in a row the city has been targeted.

Pakistan launched an offensive against Taliban stronghold in the nearby region of South Waziristan at the weekend.

The region is considered to be the main sanctuary for Islamic militants outside Afghanistan. It also has numerous training camps for suicide bombers.

Tens of thousands of civilians have fled the region since the offensive began, according to the army.

There are no details of the latest fighting, as journalists are not allowed into the conflict zone.

On Friday the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) expressed concern about restrictions on aid workers in the area.

"What we see now is a sharp and extremely worrying increase in the number of civilian casualties," said Jacques de Maio, the ICRC head of operations for south Asia.

Security across Pakistan has been stepped up amid rising militant violence as the offensive continues.

Attacks in cities have killed nearly 180 people in October alone.

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