— At least four people were killed and 50 others were wounded on Tuesday when a suicide bomber detonated his explosive-laden vest in the middle of a crowd lining up to enter a government building in northwestern Pakistan, officials said.
It was the first suicide bombing in the Khyber
tribal region this year and took place in the Jamrud subdistrict, about 10 miles west of Peshawar, the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province.
The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, local news media reported.
“The bomber blew himself up amidst people lining up to get inside our local office,” Shahab Ali Shah, a senior Khyber government official, said by telephone.
“There was a threat alert,” he said. “Security was high, and since he could not get inside the building, he blew himself up outside.”
Four of the wounded were in serious condition, Mr. Shah said.
Later, during the search and rescue operation, security forces defused a bomb that was found close to the government building, he said.
“The overall security environment has improved after the military operation in the region,” Mr. Shah said. “Militants have been flushed out. The main threat and intelligence intercepts are now coming from militants hiding next door in Afghanistan.”
In mid-June, the Pakistani military concluded a campaign it called Operation Khyber-2 and said that it had regained control of plains areas in the Bara subdistrict
and the remote Tirah Valley, which borders Afghanistan
Pakistani and foreign militants have now taken shelter in areas close to the border in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar
, according to security officials in Pakistan.