Suicide bomber kills five in northwest Pakistan
( Reuters ) - A suicide bomber killed three Pakistani paramilitary soldiers and two civilians on Saturday in the northwestern Bajaur region on the Afghan border, a military and a hospital official said.
Violence in northwestern Pakistan has intensified since the collapse of a peace deal with militants and an army crackdown on a pro-Taliban mosque in the capital in July.
"It was a suicide attack. The bomber rammed his car into a convoy," said a military official who declined to be identified.
The attack on the paramilitary convoy took place in Mamoon district, 18 km ( 10 miles) north of Khar, the main town in the region.
A doctor at Khar's hospital said five people had been killed -- three soldiers and two civilians -- and eight people had been wounded.
Bajaur is part of Pakistan's so-called tribal belt on the Afghan border, a rugged, mountainous region inhabited by conservative ethnic Pashtun tribes.
Many al Qaeda and Taliban members took refuge on the Pakistani side of the Afghan border after U.S. and Afghan opposition forces toppled the Taliban government in Afghanistan in late 2001.
Despite Pakistani military efforts to clear out the militants, U.S. officials say al Qaeda and Taliban are still able to regroup and plot attacks from the Pakistani border lands.