Five killed, two wounded in land mine explosion in Pakistan

A Pakistani military vehicle hit a land mine along a road in the tribal region of Miran Shah in Pakistan, killing five soldiers and wounding two.

Four of the soldiers died at the scene of the explosion near the main town in North Waziristan area, a senior security official said on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to make statements to the media.

One of three seriously wounded troops died later at a military hospital, he said.

The convoy of six trucks were traveling from Miran Shah to a security forces post near the Afghan border when one of them hit "an improvised explosive device" along the dirt road, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) southwest of the town, he said.

No one claimed responsibility for the explosion but the security official blamed "enemies of peace in the region," an indirect reference to Islamic militants believed to be in the area.

Security officials have said hundreds of Arab, Afghan and Central Asian militants are hiding in North and the adjoining South Waziristan regions, both bordering Afghanistan.

Earlier Thursday, a suspected militant blew himself up while planting a land mine on another dirt road in North Waziristan.

The incident happened on the outskirts of Miran Shah and "we believe that this man was planting the land mine for soldiers deployed in the region," the official said on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to media.

He gave no other details. The blast came two days after an army vehicle carrying troops hit a land mine in the same area and wounded four soldiers.

Pakistan, a key ally of the United States in the war on terror, has deployed thousands of troops in its tribal regions in an effort to flush out al-Qaida linked militants who are believed to be hiding in the North and South Waziristan tribal regions, the AP reports.

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