November 9, 2009 in Nation/World

Bombing kills Pakistani mayor

Village leader organized local militia against Taliban
Zulfiqar Ali And Alex Rodriguez Tribune Newspapers

PESHWAR, Pakistan – A suicide bomber attacked a livestock market in the suburbs of the violence-racked northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on Sunday, killing a mayor who had opposed the Taliban and 11 other people.

Abdul Malik, mayor of the village of Adazai, was with his bodyguards at the market when the bomber struck. Peshawar police official Sahibzada Muhammad Anees said Malik was the target.

Malik, who had survived previous attempts on his life by the Taliban, had recently organized a tribal militia to keep militants from the neighboring Khyber region out of his village, about 10 miles south of Peshawar.

“I saw the mayor accompanied by armed guards in the market when the explosion took place,” said Imtiaz Khan, a resident who suffered wounds to his left leg in the attack. “His bodyguards tried to overcome the bomber before the blast.”

Police said 35 people were injured in the explosion. Eight of the injured were in critical condition. Jafar Shah, who buys and sells cattle at the market, said Malik should have known he was a potential target and was endangering the lives of others by appearing at the market.

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