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Pakistani Tribal Elder Escapes Bomb Attack

A bomb attack apparently targeting a tribal elder in northern Pakistan killed a teenage boy on July 12, RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal reports.

The boy, the blast's only victim, is thought to have been carrying the bomb. Officials believe the bomb exploded prematurely.

Tribal leader Malak Sawab Khan, from Pakistan's Orakzai tribal agency, told Radio Mashaal that he believed the bomber was sent by the Taliban to kill him.

The bomb exploded at the entrance of his "hujra," or community guest house, in the Kohat district of Pakistan's northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.

"They had previously attacked me on May 19 as well. The attackers had four Kalashnikovs [in that incident]. God saved me [then] and today they again attacked my house, but again God saved me and no one was killed or injured," Khan said.

Khan added that a Taliban commander who also belongs to his Muhammadzai tribe, Said Khan, claimed responsibility for that attack, but had yet to do so for the latest incident.

"I did not receive any threats before, I was serving the displaced people [from the conflict zones] and [the Taliban] were angry at that, but they did not threaten me," he said. "They had accepted responsibility for the previous attack and may also accept [responsibility] for the recent one."

Mohammad Naeem, a police official in Kohat, told Radio Mashaal that the boy was planting the bomb when it exploded. He said the alleged bomber had been identified as Fazal Amin, a resident of Kohat.

Locals said the boy was roughly 16 or 17 years old, but officials did not confirm his age.

On July 9, a massive explosion in Pakistan's Mohmand tribal agency killed 106 people. Those killed in that attack included key tribal elders who had organized the volunteer militias known as lashkars to fight against the region's Taliban.