Pak militants storm govt office; Shia protests on


Militants wearing suicide vests and disguised as policemen attacked the office of a senior political official in northwestern Pakistan Monday, killing five people, police and hospital officials said.

In Pakistan's southwest, meanwhile, several thousand Shia Muslims protested for a second day following a massive bombing targeting the minority sect that killed 84 people. The protesters have refused to bury victims of the attack until authorities take action against the militants who were responsible.

The target of Monday's attack in the city of Peshawar was the office of the top political official for the Khyber tribal area, a major militant sanctuary in the country. The militants were disguised in the same type of uniform worn by the tribal policemen who protect the compound.

Four militants opened fire on the policemen protecting the compound and managed to get inside, said senior tribal policeman Sajad Hussain. Once inside, three of the attackers detonated their suicide vests, said Hussain.

The bodies of five people killed in the attack have been brought to a local hospital, along with eight others who were wounded, said hospital spokesman Jamil Shah.

The dead included four tribal policemen and one elderly civilian, said police officer Noor Mohammed Khan. The wounded included four tribal policemen and three civilians, he said.

An eyewitness, Shahid Shinwari, said the militants launched the attack when a van carrying prisoners arrived at the office compound. The militants tried to free the prisoners from the van, he said.

The compound is open to members of the public on Mondays, and it was filled with dozens of people who became trapped inside by the attack. Soldiers and police responded to the attack, and the people trapped inside were eventually freed.

In Quetta, over 4,000 men and women staged a protest in an area of the city where a bombing targeting Shias ripped through a produce market on Saturday.

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