Eight killed in suicide bombing, military actions in Pakistan
Eight people were killed on Sunday in one suicide bombing and two separate military encounters in Pakistan's troubled north-western region, intelligence officials and media reports said.
A suicide bomber blew himself up in a busy market in South Waziristan, injuring nine people, DPA reported.
"The suicide bomber was trying to reach a local Taliban commander to kill him but commander's guards fired at him," said an intelligence official.
"The commander Tehsil Khan had recently developed some differences with the leadership of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)," added the official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The TTP is an umbrella organization for more than a dozen militant outfits.
Thousands of Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters are believed to be hiding in Pakistan's mountainous tribal region along the Afghan border.
They frequently carry out cross-border raids on NATO-led international forces as well as conducting attacks on civilian and official targets inside Pakistan, a key-US ally in the fight against Islamist insurgency.
Meanwhile, one Pakistani soldier was killed on Sunday when a roadside bomb hit a paramilitary vehicle in Zairat Chowk in the Mohmand tribal district, said Akbar Khan, a local government official.
Six suspected Taliban militants also died in two separate encounters with the military in the north-western Swat valley.
Dawn television reported that security forces killed an alleged key commander and his three comrades following a 12-hour siege in the Kanju area of the district.
Two more suspected insurgents died in an exchange of fire with the military in the Ghaligi Darra area.
The mountainous district of Swat saw fierce fighting between Taliban and thousands of military and paramilitary troops last year. The Islamist extremists were defeated after month-long battles that left thousands dead on both sides.
From their hideouts in the pine-forested mountains, the Taliban continue to launch occasional raids on security forces in Swat, formerly an area popular with tourists located some 140 kilometres north-west of the capital Islamabad.