Suicide attack in SWAT kills 7

A suicide attacker struck a security checkpoint in northwest Pakistan on Saturday, killing at least seven people and injuring 26.

The attacker — who was in a three-wheeled auto-rickshaw — detonated explosives in the Saidu Sharif town of Swat district, police official Qazi Farooq said.

Army spokesman Maj. Mushtaq Khan said a soldier, a policeman and five civilians died in the attack.

Maj. Khan said the checkpoint was being jointly manned by troops and police. The blast also damaged several vehicles, and the victims were transported to a nearby hospital, he said.

The Pakistani military launched a major offensive in Swat early last year after peace deals with local Taliban collapsed.

The military took back the Swat Valley by mid-2009, but sporadic violence has continued.

No one claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attack, but the suspicion fell on militants who have stepped up attacks against police and security forces in recent months.

The attack came a day after two suicide bombers killed 43 people in near-simultaneous blasts in the eastern city of Lahore.

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