Page last updated at 13:24 GMT, Sunday, 27 December 2009

Pakistan 'militants' kill official and family members


Militants in Pakistan have blown up the house of a local official, killing him and five members of his family.

Sarbraz Saddiqi, a government official in Kurram district, his wife and four children were killed in the attack, a police official said.

Sunday morning's attack came as the family were asleep.

No-one has admitted planting the bomb. But the police spokesman said it could be linked to a Pakistan army offensive against the Taliban in the area.

The army has captured territory in South Waziristan, a hotbed of Islamic militancy, but many insurgents are believed to have fled to nearby regions, including Kurram.

Small children killed

The attack occurred in Mosu Zai village, about 200km (125 miles) from the north-western city of Peshawar.

"Unknown miscreants planted dynamite around the house and exploded it between 0200 (2100 GMT) and 0300 and the house was destroyed," Abab Ali, a local official told AFP news agency.

"Those killed were aged five to 11," he said.

"We don't know whether the Taliban, terrorists or Shias were responsible," Mr Ali said.

But police officer Naeemullah Khan said the attack appeared to be linked to the army's efforts against the Taliban militants in the area.

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