Five suspected militants killed in Pakistani tribal region

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Peshawar, Jul 1 (UNI) Five suspected militants were killed and 15 others injured after explosives stored in one of their 'safe houses' in Bara tribal region blew up.

''Five people were killed in the blast that took place in a building in the Qambarkhel area. Security forces did not fire on the building. A bomb disposal team has been sent to determine the cause of the explosion,'' a press release issued by political agent of the Khyber tribal region said yesterday.

The building belonged to the Islamist Haji Namdar group and was being used as a private jail, local media reports today said.

Haji Namdar, chief of the Islamist outfit told journalists that his 'base' in the Bara area had been ''hit by a guided missile fired by Nato forces from across the border.'' He said that his fighters were being targeted because they were waging war against ''enemies of Islam''.

But officials of the political administration refuted the allegation and insisted that it was an accidental explosion of the explosive material stored in the building.

Officials also said the explosion was not the result of the ongoing operation.

Haji Namdar's claims about missile attack could not be independently verified. No shrapnel or projectile fragments were produced.

Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan's spokesman Maulvi Mohammad Umar also blamed Nato forces for the attack and vowed to avenge the killing of their colleagues.

He said the Tehrik would ''respond with equal force against the military operation in the tribal area.'' Two women were among the injured and their condition was stated to be critical. All the injured were later taken to hospitals in Bara and Peshawar.

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