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Bomb kills civilian in NW Pakistan

world Updated: Jan 23, 2009 12:26 IST

A remote-controlled bomb targetting a military convoy on Friday killed a civilian and injured two others in northwest Pakistan, security officials said.

The bombing took place at a village near the town of Mingora in Swat valley, where the military is battling militants loyal to radical cleric Maulana Fazlullah who have launched a violent campaign for Islamic laws.

"One civilian travelling in a car was killed and two others sitting with him were injured by shrapnel," a security official told AFP.

A soldier was also injured, he said, and added that the main convoy was saved because the road-side bomb went off when the convoy had just passed.

Swat, once a popular destination for Pakistani and foreign holidaymakers, boasting the country's only ski resort, has descended into chaos with pitched battles between militants and security forces.

More than 1,500 Pakistani troops have been killed at the hands of Islamist extremists since 2002, after the Islamabad government joined the so-called "war on terror" declared by former US president George W Bush.

Pakistan rejects Western accusations that it is not doing enough to tackle the extremist threat on its soil, where a wave of spectacular fundamentalist attacks have killed more than 1,500 people in 17 months.