Image: Damaged video shop in Miranshah, Pakistan
Haji Mujtaba  /  Reuters
Shopkeepers survey the damage after militants blew up video and music outlets in Miranshah, Pakistan, on Wednesday. news services
updated 6/4/2008 6:51:21 AM ET 2008-06-04T10:51:21

A powerful bomb ripped through a video shop in northwest Pakistan on Wednesday, killing three people and wounding three, police said.

Local police chief Abdul Rauf said the attack happened in the town of Kohat, about 45 miles south of Peshawar, the capital of North West Frontier Province bordering Afghanistan. He said the dead and injured were taken to a hospital.

The blast also damaged some nearby video and CD stores. Supporters of al-Qaida and the Taliban have tried to enforce strict Muslim rule in the area.

The latest attack came weeks after suspected militants sent letters to shop owners in Kohat and elsewhere in the region, warning them to close their businesses.

Earlier Wednesday, militants also blew up two dozen video and music stalls on a market in the northwestern town of Miranshah in the North Waziristan region, part of an ethnic Pashtun tribal belt in northwest Pakistan that has never come under the control of any government. No injuries were reported.

"About 25 masked militants came at about 1:30 a.m planted explosives and blew up the entire market," said Mohammad Sakhi, who runs a workshop next to the market.

The stalls offered pirated Indian and Hollywood films as well as music discs of Pashtun folk music. Some kept more racy movies under the counter, a resident said.

'I've lost everything'
"I've lost everything. This was my only source of earning for my family," said Ahmed Gul, whose shop was destroyed in the blast.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but previous such bombings in this volatile region have been blamed on pro-Taliban militants who consider music and movies un-Islamic.

The attacks have spread to towns and cities in North West Frontier Province, such as Kohat, in a process referred to as Talibanisation.

Last year, hardline religious students from a radical mosque even tried to press video shops to close in the capital, Islamabad.

Authorities have largely turned a blind eye to the attacks on markets, and similar attacks on girls' schools, to the dismay of the moderate majority of Pakistanis

A new government has begun negotiations with the aim of bringing an end to militant violence that has killed hundreds of people since the middle of last year.

But analysts say peace pacts are unlikely to stop the militants' efforts to impose their austere version of Islam.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.


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