PESHAWAR: Unknown gunmen shot dead a senior opposition leader along with two others in Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar on Sunday, police said, hours after a bomb attack in another part of the region killed five.

Mian Mushtaq, a former high-ranking member of the secular Awami National Party (ANP) that ruled the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province until last year, was in his car when he was attacked, senior police official Rahim Shah told AFP.

“Up to four gunmen had taken position on both sides of a road and as soon as Mian Mushtaq's car passed they started firing and fled in the nearby fields,” Shah said.

“Mian Mushtaq and two others died in the firing,” he added.

The ANP is known for its outspoken views against the Taliban and backed military operations against the insurgents while it ruled the restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province for five years till March 2013.

Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) has now formed a coalition government in the province but ANP leaders remain in the militants' sights.

Earlier in the day two roadside bombs targeting Amir Muqam of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) party killed five of his security detail in the Martoong area of Swat valley, which the Taliban controlled from 2007-2009.

“At least five policemen were killed and four others were wounded,” senior police official Abdullah Khan told AFP.

The dead and wounded were travelling in the security car that was leading the other vehicles, he said.

Another senior police official, Gulzar Khan, confirmed the attack, which was later condemned in a statement by the prime minister's office.

Khan said two improvised explosive devices weighing two kilograms (4.4 pounds) each were remotely detonated minutes apart and a third unexploded device found at the crime scene was defused by a bomb disposal squad.

Muqam, an adviser to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, told AFP that he was safe but distraught over the loss of the men in his security detail.

“I thank God for saving my life. I am very sad over the loss of my people who gave their lives while protecting me,” he said.

He said that he was travelling in the area with some 15 vehicles in his convoy as part of campaign efforts for local elections.

The Pakistani Taliban, other militant affiliates and al Qaeda-linked networks all have strongholds in the country's northwest, particularly in the semi-autonomous areas on the Afghan border.

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Comments (6)

January 12, 2014 2:47 pm

It is WAR, and every Pakistani citizen should drop everything they are doing and wage a Jihad against these slalfis and barbarians. If anyone who has listened to these guys talking he will tell you that none of these guys understand a language other than violence. It is shocking IK is wasting his energies against Drones protest which is the best weapon against barbarians. Let drones fly in and lets' attack every area where the ideology of hate is found. No more Madrassas without a proper curriculum and govt approvals. Carpet bombing will require in the area where these animals are hiding. Karachi and Islamabad must be flushed out from terrorist. It is WAR time.

January 12, 2014 4:45 pm

When whole nation will die then our Army and Politicians will awake.

January 12, 2014 5:40 pm

When will the PTI and PMLN understand that this our war NOT USA. This is our war for existence, if we fail to act on time we will be doomed..As a society we have degenerated! Policemen, Army soldiers along with common people are dying for nothing...In this country there is no value of human life..

Muhammad Farooq
January 12, 2014 9:15 pm

give up wishful thinking, give up false hope of peace dialogue of TTP and take action against them with full military might. TTP is on war-path and should be treated as enemy of the country at war; time for ifs and buts has passed.

January 13, 2014 12:57 am

PTI Gov't needs to put up an FIR against the TTP instead of un known people. Time to stand up.

Mohammed A. Sukhera (USA)
January 13, 2014 1:48 am

I takes two to tango. We can't achieve peace unless Taliban sincerely want peace. Taliban are in all out war against Pakistani Army, police, Pakistani political leaders and they are killing them everyday. They say they are following Islam but Islam does not allow to wage war when the other party wants peace. Its do or die situation now. The country must gather all resources available Airforce,Navy and the army to combat these armed thugs.

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