26 Mar 2011

Convoy ambushed in NW Pakistan

6:55 am on 26 March 2011

At least eight people were killed and 15 kidnapped when gunmen attacked two vehicles in north-west Pakistan. About five others were wounded.

The ambush occurred in the Bagan area of the Kurram tribal agency.

Those targeted were Shia Muslims who recently struck a peace deal with Taliban militants in the area.

District officials told the BBC that the gunmen fired on one vehicle and then set fire to it. They then hijacked a second vehicle.

A BBC correspondent says it is likely the attack happened as a result of a recent peace deal between Shia tribes in the area and the Taliban.

The deal was brokered in February by Pakistani security forces and guaranteed by members of the Haqqani network - a branch of the Afghan Taliban based in Pakistan.

Shia Muslim tribes had been waging a war for three years to keep the Taliban out of the area.

The attack occurred on the main road connecting the regional capital with the city of Peshawar.

Until the peace deal, the road had been blocked by the Taliban since November 2007.