PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — A suicide bomber attacked a compound in northwestern Pakistan on Saturday that was owned by a militant commander who had fallen out with the Pakistani Taliban, killing at least nine people, including three children, police said.
There has been significant infighting over turf and leadership positions within the Pakistani Taliban, an umbrella organization set up in 2007 to represent roughly 40 insurgent groups, many of whom are waging a bloody campaign against the government.
The compound that was attacked in Spin Dal village in the Orakzai tribal area was owned by militant commander Mullah Nabi, said senior tribal police official Amjad Khan. Nabi was once a close ally to a prominent Pakistani Taliban commander from Orakzai, Mullah Toofan, but the two are now heated rivals.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but suspicion will likely fall on Toofan, a close ally to the head of the Pakistani Taliban, Hakimullah Mehsud.
The bomber tried to enter the guest quarters in Nabi's compound and detonated his explosives when he was challenged by guards outside, said Khan, the tribal police official.
Three children were among the nine killed, and 15 other people were wounded, said Sabar Gul, another tribal police official.
The Pakistani army has waged multiple offensives against the Pakistani Taliban in Orakzai and other parts of the tribal region, but the militants continue to stage frequent attacks against military and civilian targets.
A roadside bomb exploded near a passenger bus elsewhere in the northwest Saturday, killing three people, said police officer Zahir Shah. The attack in Upper Dir in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province also wounded seven people, Shah added.
In southwest Pakistan, unknown assailants armed with assault rifles and rockets attacked a coast guard camp in the port city of Gwadar on Saturday, killing six members of the force and wounding two others, said local intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.
A coast guard official in Gwadar, Hidayat Ullah, confirmed the attack and said members of the force were killed and wounded, but could not provide specific figures.
Associated Press writers Hussain Afzal in Parachinar, Pakistan, and Abdul Sattar in Quetta, Pakistan, contributed to this report.