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At Least 5 Killed In Militant Attack On Pak Govt. Office

At least five people have been killed and more than seven injured in a suicide attack on a key government office in Pakistan's north-western city of Peshawar, media reports citing local officials said late on Monday.

Officials said two militants disguised as tribal police officers and wearing explosive-packed vests stormed the central office of the tribal administration in Peshawar, capital of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, on Monday.

Media reports said two explosions were heard from inside the government office, adding that those killed in the attack included four security personnel and a civilian. It is unclear whether any of the two suicide bombers survived the attack.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Notably, the Pakistani Taliban has carried numerous such attacks targeting both civilian and military personnel in the country's volatile north-western tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.

The Islamist militants have stepped up their campaign of violence ahead of national elections scheduled to be held within months. Last weekend, at least 84 people were killed and more than 200 injured after a massive bomb explosion ripped through a busy market in a Shiite-dominated neighborhood in the south-western city of Quetta.

Local Shiite leaders have since accused the Pakistani government of failing to provide adequate security in the region to prevent such attacks on their community. They have delayed burying the dead until their previous demand for handing over security responsibilities in Quetta to the Army is not met.

Incidentally, attacks on Pakistan's minority Shiites by Sunni militant groups linked to al-Qaeda and the Taliban have increased significantly in recent years. The hardline Sunni extremist groups regard Shiites as non-Muslims.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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