Militants attack anti-Taliban mayor in Pakistan

More than a dozen militants opened fire on the house of an anti-Taliban mayor in northwestern Pakistan today, but security guards repelled the attack, killing three assailants who had disguised themselves by wearing women's burqas, police said.

Militants have staged a wave of attacks in northwestern Pakistan in recent weeks in retaliation for an army offensive launched last month in the tribal area of South Waziristan, where al-Qaida and Taliban leaders are believed to be hiding.

Three militants who initiated the attack in the town of Bazid Khel against Mayor Mohammad Fahim Khan's house concealed themselves by donning all-encompassing burqas traditionally worn by Muslim women, police official Nabi Shah said.

"Seeing three burqa-clad women early in the morning, Fahim Khan's security guards challenged them, and the men threw away their disguise and opened fire," Shah said. "But the guards were alert and they retaliated quickly."

The guards killed the three militants, but several others joined the fight, Shah said. The two groups waged a gunbattle before the remaining militants fled, he said.

Khan is the second mayor to be attacked in the last week who has organized a local militia to fight against the Taliban. A suicide bomber hit a crowded market outside the main northwestern city of Peshawar last Sunday, killing 12 people, including a mayor who once supported but turned against the Taliban.

Militants have made several attempts to assassinate Khan. Bazid Khel lies about 10 miles (15 kilometers) south of Peshawar.

"Militants have exploded three bombs near my house, killing innocent people, and they have opened fire on me several times but have failed so far," Khan said. "These attacks will not weaken my resolve against militants."

The recent wave of attacks has killed hundreds since the beginning of October. The insurgents appear to believe the violence will weaken the determination of both the people and the government to counter the rising militant threat.

Many attacks have targeted areas in and around Peshawar, which borders Pakistan's semiautonomous tribal region where the army is fighting its offensive. Strikes in the past week alone have killed more than 50 people, including 11 who died Saturday when a suicide car bomber attacked a police checkpoint on the outskirts of Peshawar.

A day earlier, another suicide car bomber attacked the regional office of Pakistan's top intelligence agency in Peshawar, killing 10 people.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Personal Tax Senior

£28000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer and Markets Development Executive

£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company's mission is to ma...

Recruitment Genius: Guest Services Assistant

£13832 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This 5 star leisure destination on the w...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Account Manager

£20000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Account Manager is requ...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory