Pakistan tribes raze Taliban houses after bombing

Other News Materials 12 October 2008 00:15 (UTC +04:00)

Pakistani tribesmen exchanged fire with Taliban militants and destroyed their houses in a northwestern tribal region after a suicide attack killed at least 50 people, residents and officials said on Saturday.

Television channels put the death toll at as high as 80, reported Reuters.

The bomber detonated a car loaded with explosives in the middle of a tribal council meeting in Orakzai region on Friday where hundreds of tribesmen were discussing a government-backed plan to raise a lashkar or tribal militia to evict militants.

Pakistan's tribal areas on the Afghan border are regarded as safe havens for al Qaeda and Taliban militants, and the government is under pressure from the United States to take stern action to stem the flow of insurgents to Afghanistan.

"Everyone is angry and upset here. The tribesmen attacked houses of the Taliban in Khadizai after the bombing. Two houses have been demolished," Noorzad Orakzai, a resident of the Khadizai area where attack took place, told Reuters by telephone.

"There have been exchanges of fire throughout the night. It's still going on," he added.

Suspected U.S. drones fired two missile on Saturday into a Pakistani region on the Afghan border killing three people, a Reuters witness and an intelligence official said.

It was the second such attack in North Waziristan tribal region this week. "The missiles were fired with a gap of a minute," the Reuters witness said from Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan. "They caused huge blasts. I saw flames rising towards the sky after the explosions."