updated 9/2/2007 10:05:12 AM ET 2007-09-02T14:05:12

A bomb exploded in a medical store in a town market in northwestern Pakistan on Sunday, killing four people and wounding 10, officials said.

The explosion ripped through the pharmacy in Wana, the main town of South Waziristan tribal region, which borders Afghanistan, a local intelligence official said on condition of anonymity because he did not have the authority to make media comments.

A doctor at a military hospital where the blast victims were taken, who also requested anonymity for the same reason, confirmed that four people were killed and 10 wounded in the explosion and one of the wounded was in a serious condition.

The bomb was apparently an attempt to kill a local militant, Mita Khan, who was at the pharmacy when the explosion occurred and was seriously hurt, the intelligence official said.

Khan is loyal to Maulvi Nazir, a pro-government tribal militant who has led deadly clashes with suspected Uzbek militants to evict them from areas near Wana in the past, he said.

The medical store and an adjacent shop were destroyed and all those killed or wounded were civilians, he said.

Violence has stepped up in South Waziristan in recent weeks. Since Thursday, militants have claimed to have kidnapped scores of troops as they traveled in convoy.

Tribal elders visiting town
The bombing in Wana coincides with the presence in the town of some 60 tribal elders, clerics and lawmakers who were holding talks with officials in bids to secure release of the abducted soldiers.

A day earlier, members of the jirga or traditional tribal council held talks with militant leaders.

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