A roadside bomb has killed the former head of a pro-government militia and seven others in northwestern Pakistan, officials said September 14, in an attack claimed by the outlawed Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan militant group (TTP), otherwise known as the Pakistani Taliban.
Zahid Nawaz Marwat, police chief of the Swat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province where the attack occurred late on September 13, told RFE/RL that a vehicle was targeted in the blast that killed five people.
For years Pakistan encouraged tribal vigilante forces known as peace committees to defend their villages against militants. Most have been subsequently disbanded as security improved across the country.
Marwat said former peace committee head Idrees Khan was killed when his pickup truck was hit by a roadside bomb.
Residents later told RFE/RL three more bodies were found in the area and the victims were believed to be passersby.
Another local police official confirmed the death toll, which included two local policemen, two private guards, and three laborers.
The attack was claimed by the TTP, who said Khan was involved in the killing their members.
The TTP also claimed responsibility for a clash with the Pakistani military in which three soldiers were killed on September 13 in the Kurram district bordering Afghanistan.
The TTP declared an open-ended cease-fire in June to facilitate peace talks with the Pakistan government being brokered by Afghanistan, but there have been regular clashes since then despite both sides saying the truce was still on.
Since the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan last year Islamabad has regularly complained of attacks by the TTP, especially along their porous frontier.
The Pakistani and Afghan Taliban are separate groups but share a common ideology.