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Police say attack on Pakistani minister foiled

world Updated: Sep 21, 2009 11:33 IST
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Police officers foiled a plan to assassinate a regional education minister in northwestern Pakistan when they engaged four militants in a gunbattle o Monday that ended with a teenage suicide bomber blowing himself up, police said.

An informant tipped off officers that insurgents had gathered in a government high school in North West Frontier Province after midnight and were planning to kill provincial Education Minister Sardar Hussain Babak and attack government installations and security forces, police officer Noor Jamal Khan said.

Police confronted the militants and a firefight ensued. A loud explosion rocked the building and three of the men escaped, including one who was wounded, Khan told The Associated Press from Tatalai district.

"We have collected the body parts of the young suicide attacker and these will be sent for identification purposes," said Khan. No other deaths were reported.

Pakistan's northwest continues to see near-daily violence with attacks by Islamist extremists on security forces and civilians. On Friday, a suicide bomber plowed his explosives-laden vehicle into a hotel in the northwestern town of Kohat, also in North West Frontier Province, killing more than 30 and wounding dozens of others.