2014-02-05 07:44:33

Suicide bomber kills nine people in Pakistan

(Vatican Radio) A suicide bomber killed nine people and wounded 30 others in north-western Pakistan on Tuesday, just hours after peace talks between government and Taliban negotiators were delayed.

Peace talks between Pakistani officials and a three-member team representing the Taliban were supposed to begin Tuesday in the capital, Islamabad, but were delayed after government negotiators failed to arrive for the first round they had agreed to.

The government said officials did not show up because they had been waiting for the Taliban to confirm the identities of their negotiating team. The talks are expected to resume now that the government has received such confirmation.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been pushing for negotiations over military operations to end militant violence in the Islamic country, where over 40,000 people in recent years have been killed in acts of terrorism. Authorities blame most of the deaths on Pakistani Taliban.

The Taliban have been fighting to topple the government and enforce their hard-line brand of Islam across the country. Critics say several peace initiatives in the past failed and only emboldened the militants.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for yesterday’s attack on a hotel, frequented by members of the Shiite Muslim minority sect, although the Pakistani Taliban denied any responsibility for the bombing.

Also on Tuesday, a bomb targeting a moving passenger train killed at least one person and wounded 12 others on the outskirts of Karachi, the capital of southern Sindh province. It also derailed four cars of the train, which was en route to the eastern city of Lahore, he added. No one claimed responsibility.

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