Suspected Islamic militants triggered an explosion while making a bomb inside a home in a tribal region in northwestern Pakistan early Thursday, killing five people and injuring two others, a government official said. The explosion occurred before dawn in a home near Miran Shah, the main town in the North Waziristan tribal region bordering Afghanistan, said Syed Zaheerul Islam, a top government administrator in the area. An intelligence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the secretive nature of his job, reported earlier that the deaths were caused when assailants fired six rockets, with one hitting a home in Isori, a village east of Miran Shah.
Islam said three of those killed and one of the injured were foreigners, probably Uzbeks, while the others were local tribesmen. The victims were not identified. Islam said authorities were looking for a local tribesman who is believed to have rented his house to the militants.
The intelligence official said that the two dead locals were a 5-year-old boy and a 17-year-old college student, both relatives of the fugitive tribesman.
About 500 students from a college rallied in Mir Ali, a market town near Isori, to protest the death of the teenager in the village and what an organizer called an "attack on innocent people."
"This is an illegal attack against us, against innocent people," said Munawar Shah, a student leader addressing the rally. "They want us to take up guns," he said to the chants of "Death to America" and "Death to Pakistan."
Security officials have said hundreds of foreign Islamic militants, believed to be Arabs, Central Asians and Afghans, are in the North and adjoining South Waziristan tribal regions. The fighters are blamed for targeting security forces with rockets and roadside bombings.
Last month, at least eight people were killed when a similar explosion ripped through a suspected militant hideout in another village near Miran Shah, reports the AP. I.L.