KAMRA, Pakistan (AFP) — A suicide car bomber blew himself up close to a school bus carrying children of Pakistan air force employees in a northwestern town Monday, injuring at least five children, the military said.
The attacker struck in Kamra, known for its air force base and aircraft factories, as the children were going to school, top military spokesman Major General Waheed Arshad said.
"A children's bus was targeted in Kamra. Five children were injured," Arshad said. A military statement said three girls were among the wounded.
The suicide attacker died in the incident, Arshad said, adding that there were about 35 children on the bus.
A separate air force statement said five children and three adults on the bus were wounded in the attack in Kamra, about 60 kilometres (40 miles) northwest of Islamabad, with one of them in serious condition.
It said the bus belonged to the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, the manufacturing division of the air force, and that it happened on the outskirts of one of its factories.
"The bomber in the car died on the spot," the statement said.
A bus driver and a guard inside the vehicle were among the injured, state television said.
"The suicide attacker was in a white Toyota Corolla car, which has been blown up into many small pieces," senior local police official Zulfiqar Hussain Shah told AFP.
A police officer in the nearby town of Attock told AFP the bus was carrying children of air force employees to a Pakistan Air Force school at the complex.
"They were students at the PAF school," police officer Mukhtar Ahmed said, although he gave a higher toll of six children wounded.
Last month two suicide bombings targeting Pakistani security forces killed at least 20 people in Rawalpindi, the garrison city near Islamabad.
Pakistan is battling pro-Taliban and Al-Qaeda linked militants in tribal areas bordering Afghanistan. The violence has spread into main towns and cities following the July military raid of the Red Mosque in Islamabad.
On Saturday, officials claimed they had almost cleared the Swat valley of rebels loyal to pro-Taliban cleric Maulana Fazlullah, killing 290 and arresting another 143 in recent weeks.
Seven abducted security forces personnel escaped from the custody of the militants after overpowering them there on Sunday night, a military statement said. It did not give more details.
A military statement on Monday said that the bodies of three militants who were killed by local people in Swat had been recovered.
"People of Swat are now actively participating in the government's drive to address militancy," it said.
Locals also demolished the houses of two militants with links to Fazlullah who "were also involved in different terrorist activities."
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