One dead as Pakistan police foil attack on football match

One civilian and one suicide bomber dead after attack at football game but police managed to stop a second suicide bomber

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Pakistan’s tribal police on Wednesday prevented two suicide bombers from blowing themselves up inside a packed football ground in the tribal region near the Afghan border, officials said.

However, one of the bombers managed to blow himself up outside the ground and the second died at the scene after being shot by police, during the attack that also killed one civilian.

The incident happened in Shiite-dominated Alizai area of lower Kurram tribal region where a football match was being played between local teams.

“The local tribal police opened fire on the two bombers as they tried to enter the ground, foiling their attempt to cause massive devastation,” the top local administration official Amjad Ali Khan told AFP.

Two police official were injured in the attack, he added.

Another local administration official Riaz Khan also confirmed the incident and casualties.

Kurram is one of the seven autonomous tribal districts bordering Afghanistan where Islamist militants rose up against the Pakistani state in 2004.

Pakistan began a long-awaited push to clear insurgent bases from the North Waziristan tribal district last June after a bloody Taliban attack on Karachi airport finally sank faltering peace talks.

The army has intensified its offensive since the Taliban’s massacre of 153 people, 134 of them children, in a school in the northwestern city of Peshawar in December.

The semi-autonomous tribal areas on the Afghan border became a hideout for Islamist militants of all stripes in the aftermath of the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

Pakistan has also been hit by a rising wave of sectarian violence in recent years, most of it carried out by militant Sunni Muslim groups targeting Shiites.

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