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Violence in Pak tribal belt kills 73

Islamabad(PTI): At least 73 people, mostly militants, were killed on Friday in separate incidents of violence, including a suicide attack outside a mosque and a fierce clash between security forces and terrorists, in the restive tribal belt of northwest Pakistan.

File Photo At least 73 people, mostly militants, were killed on Friday in separate incidents of violence, including a suicide attack outside a mosque and a fierce clash between security forces and terrorists, in the restive tribal belt of northwest Pakistan.

A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a mosque in the volatile Khyber tribal region on Friday afternoon, killing 23 militants of the banned Lashkar-e-Islam group and injuring over 20 others, officials of the local political administration told the media.

The attacker detonated his explosive vest near the gate of the mosque as the Lashkar-e-Islam militants were leaving after Friday prayers.

The incident occurred in Nakai area of Tirah Valley, located near the border with Afghanistan.

The area is controlled by the Lashkar-e-Islam, which is led by a warlord named Mangal Bagh Afridi.

The explosion, which damaged the mosque and nearby structures, occurred in the same area, where an overnight clash left 10 security personnel and 23 militants dead.

Dozens of militants attacked three check posts, triggering a clash that began around 11 pm on Thursday night and continued till Friday morning.

Separately, two members of a ‘lashkar’ or pro-government militia were killed and two more injured when a vehicle was targeted with a remote controlled bomb in Tirah Valley, officials said.

In the Orakzai tribal region, 15 pro-Taliban militants were killed and 12 more injured when combat jets targeted rebel hideouts at two places, officials said.

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