PESHAWAR: A suicide bomber killed a militant commander in Peshawar who had escaped two previous assassination attempts and three other people on Monday, police said.
The attack damaged a house that commander Haji Akhunzada was building in Pakha Ghulam on the outskirts of Peshawar.
He was considered a significant force within Ansarul Islam, a homegrown group based in the lawless tribal district of Khyber, and had moved to Peshawar after escaping two other failed attacks in the past.
“It was a suicide attack, four people have been killed. Haji Akhunzada is among the dead,” Imtiaz Shah, a senior police officer, told AFP.
A bomb disposal official said it was a suicide attack.
“Evidence collected from site shows that a suicide bomber was involved,” Hukam Khan told AFP.
Pakistani officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, blamed rival militant group, Lashkar-i-Islam for Monday's killings. Lashkar-i-Islam is another homegrown militant group in Khyber led by warlord Mangal Bagh.
Siraj Ahmad, the top government official in Peshawar, told AFP that Akhunzada and his son-in-law were among the dead.
The bomber was dropped off by a motorcyclist, then walked to the house under construction and detonated his vest, Ahmad added.
Ansarul Islam and Lashkar-i-Islam have a history of killing each other's fighters, police said.
Despite a relative lull in recent months, militants have killed more than 4,800 across Pakistan since government troops raided an extremist mosque in Islamabad in July 2007.