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PESHAWAR: A stray mortar bomb smashed through a house in a village in northwestern Pakistan early today, killing three children and their mother and injuring their father, police said.
The pre-dawn incident took place in Shaikhan village, a suburb of Peshawar close to the Khyber tribal district, where the military is fighting against local warlord Mangal Bagh and his Lashkar-e-Islam faction.
“The victims were asleep. A mother and her three children died on the spot,” Shafiullah Khan, a senior police officer told AFP.
The two sisters and their brother were aged between two and nine years, Khan said.
The officer said it was not yet clear who fired the mortar bomb but Pakistani troops and Mangal Bagh’s fighters exchange fire on a daily basis.
More than 250,000 people have fled the fighting in Khyber since January, according to Pakistani officials.
Khyber is part of Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal belt on the Afghan border, considered to be the world’s premier Al-Qaeda hub despite the killing of Osama bin Laden by United States troops last year.
Separately, Taliban militants on Sunday bombed a government-run high school for boys in the outskirts of Peshawar, partly destroying the building.
The remote-controlled bomb was planted on the outer wall of the school.
Islamist militants oppose girls education and have destroyed hundreds of schools, mostly for girls, in northwest Pakistan in recent years. -- AFP