September 25, 2017

A roadside bomb in northwestern Pakistan Sunday killed a senior government official and at least four of his security guards.

The deadly blast took place in Bajaur, a volatile federally administered tribal district on the Afghan border.

Officials said the administrator of the Mamoond subdistrict, Fawad Ali, was being driven to a border village to attend a traditional assembly of tribal elders when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the violence.

The anti-state Pakistan Taliban and its breakaway factions often take credit for attacks in the border region and elsewhere in Pakistan. The militant violence has killed tens of thousands of Pakistanis over the years.

Bajaur borders the volatile eastern Afghan province of Kunar where fugitive Pakistani militants have taken refugee and extremists loyal to Afghanistan’s branch of Islamic State are also well-entrenched.

Pakistani officials allege militants have taken shelter on the other side of the border after fleeing security operations and they plot terrorist attacks against Pakistan from their Afghan sanctuaries.

Islamabad accuses Kabul’s intelligence agency of backing the terrorist activity. But Afghan authorities reject the charges and in turn blame Pakistan for supporting militant violence on their soil.

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