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Suicide bomber kills 6 and gunmen kill 2 Sikhs in northwest Pakistan

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PESHAWAR, Pakistan – A suicide bomb attack near a security force vehicle killed three soldiers and three children in northwest Pakistan near the border with Afghanistan, while gunmen shot dead two minority Sikhs in Peshawar, officials said on Sunday.

According to an army statement, the suicide bomber detonated his explosive-laden vest near a vehicle on security patrol in a village near the town of Mir Ali in the tribal district of North Waziristan.

The attack killed two soldiers in the vehicle on the spot and injured another. Three children who were playing along the road were seriously injured. All of the injured were rushed to hospital by helicopter but none survived, the statement said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. The military said security forces and intelligence officials were scouring the area for the bomber’s dog handlers.

The area has served as a haven for local and foreign activists for years. The army carried out a massive operation after militants attacked an army-run school in Peshawar in 2014, which left more than 150 people dead, most of them schoolchildren.

Also on Sunday, police officer Ejaz Khan said gunmen riding motorbikes opened fire on two members of the Sikh minority community at a bazaar in the Peshawar suburb of Sarband.

Khan said Ranjit Singh, 38, and Kanwal Jeet Singh were shot several times as they set up their spice shop in Batta Tal bazaar on Sunday. The attackers fled.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Police were investigating but Khan said it appeared the two Sikhs were being targeted because of their ethnicity. Sikhs are a tiny minority in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and have been targeted by militants in the past.

Meanwhile, Pakistani health authorities have documented the country’s third polio case of the year in the North Waziristan town of Miran Shah. National polio program coordinator and spokesperson Dr Mohammad Shahzad said the deadly virus was detected in a one-year-old boy. Last year, only one case was reported in the country.

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