At least ten killed in explosion in tribal area of northwestern Pakistan

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Originally published on January 7, 2014

At least ten people died on Monday when a mortar shell exploded at a tribal leader's home in northwestern Pakistan as tribesmen were trying to extract explosives from it.

The blast took place in Khyber Agency, a tribal area near the Afghan border, in the early morning. According to local newspaper the Express Tribune, several tribesmen were trying to open an unexploded mortar shell and extract explosives from it. AFP reported that the explosives went off at the reception area of the home of a tribal elder identified as Hakim Khan.

At least ten people, including three children, were killed in the explosion. The ages of the children are unknown. Nine of them died on the spot, while one was declared dead on his way to hospital. Another nine were injured.

"We are trying to ascertain the exact nature of the blast," Nasir Khan, a senior local administration official, told AFP. It is not clear at the moment whether the tribal leader was connected to any militant group in the region. However, some media outlets reported that the tribal leader's house was used as a weapons distribution point by Lashkar-e-Islam (LeI) militants.

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