New Year began on a bloody note in Pakistan. Seventy-five people were killed and over 50 injured in a small town in the country’s north-west on Friday. A suicide bomber blasted his explosives-packed vehicle on a sports ground during a volleyball match.
The horrific attack took place in Shah Hasan Khan, near Lakki Marwat in the Bannu district of the North-Western Frontier Province. The area is close to the tribal regions of FATA.
Police said the suicide bomber drove his double-cab pick-up into the field where people had gathered to watch the volleyball match between two local teams and detonated the vehicle.
Shops and houses in the vicinity of the sports field were also destroyed in the explosion, with people feared trapped under the rubble.
The bombing came after two reported missile strikes carried out by U.S. drones in North Waziristan tribal area, one on Friday morning and an earlier one on Thursday, both in Mir Ali, within kilometres of each other.
Three militants are said to have been killed in Friday’s missile strike and five in the earlier one.
It is also being speculated that Lakki Marwat was targeted because local tribesmen have in recent months organised themselves into anti-Taliban lashkars or militias.