Suicide blast kills eight in Pakistan
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Eight paramilitary soldiers were killed and five were wounded yesterday when a suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden truck into a security checkpoint in the restive South Waziristan tribal region, officials said.
Also yesterday, General David H. Petraeus, the new chief of the Central Command, made his first visit to Pakistan for talks with top political and military leaders. The US-Pakistan relationship has worsened in recent weeks after a string of American strikes in Pakistan on militant hide-outs.
Petraeus, credited with turning around the war in Iraq, was accompanied by Richard A. Boucher, the assistant secretary of state for South Asia.
The truck bombing took place around 9:30 a.m. yesterday at a post near Fort Zalai, a base for the paramilitary Frontier Corps near Wana, South Waziristan's capital. The attack, apparently retaliation for deadly missile strikes reported Friday, may affect an accord between militants and Pakistan's government. "The attack could be a warning call to Islamabad from Maulvi Nazir," said Arif Rafiq, a political analyst, referring to a local militant. Nazir, the Taliban's top commander in South Waziristan, was reportedly the target of a missile strike on Friday.
NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE