(MENAFN - Arab News) Peshawan: a roadside bomb killed nine pakistani paramilitary soldiers thursday tribal region near the afghan border authorities said as the military test-fired a ballistic missile it said could carry a nuclear warhead.
a bomb 'planted by terrorists" near the town of miran shah in north waziristan also wounded several soldiers traveling in a convoy the army said in a statement sent to journalists in a text message.
shortly after the attack the army sent helicopters to the region which targeted suspected militant hideouts but it was unclear if there were any casualties two intelligence officials said. the officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to journalists.
no one immediately claimed responsibility for the blast but the suspicion is likely to fall on a mix of militants from pakistani and al-qaeda-linked foreign outfits which have safe havens there.
the pakistani army has been fighting against militants in the country's restive and lawless tribal region for over a decade though it hasn't launched an offensive in north waziristan.
pakistani prime minister nawaz sharif has made negotiations with the militants a centerpiece of his government to end the violence which has killed thousands. a statement from his office thursday condemned the bombing.
the pakistani taleban have been fighting against the state in a bid to overthrow the government and enforce a separate law.
after initial stumbles both the sides have seen some progress in the negotiations since february. a pakistani government team has held one round of talks with the pakistani taleban though the taleban have called off a 40-day cease-fire they declared on march 1 alleging that the government was not serious in the talks.
supporters of the talks argue that the negotiations were the only way forward to end the militant violence. critics say the militants always have used such deals to strengthen their ranks to regroup and strike back with more force.
there were some militant attacks during the cease-fire by splinter groups raising questions over whether the talks with the taleban could help bring peace.
arrested fbi agent released
a us federal bureau of investigation (fbi) agent arrested in pakistan for trying to board a civilian flight with bullets and a knife in his luggage was released on 10000 bail on thursday pakistani authorities said.
joel cox confirmed by the us state department as an fbi agent was arrested on sunday at the airport in the southern city of karachi after trying to board a flight with the knife and 15 9-mm bullets in his luggage police said.
he had yet to leave the court a witness said. bail conditions included a payment of 1 million rupees (10000).
'the government can challenge the bail but since the offense is not serious enough they might not challenge it" a police officer said.
the case has revived memories of raymond davis an american central intelligence agency contractor who was arrested in january 2011 after shooting dead two men he believed were about to rob him in the eastern city of lahore.