Image: Pakistani relatives and mourners gather at coffin
G.A Marwat  /  AP
Pakistani relatives and mourners gather around the coffin of a police officer who died Wednesday in a suicide attack in Bannu, during his funeral procession in Lakki Marwat, Pakistan, on Thursday. A suicide car bomber on Wednesday killed many people in an attack on a police station and adjoining mosque in the northwest, showing the threat militants pose there despite repeated offensives by the Pakistani army over the last 2 1/2 years.
updated 1/13/2011 1:05:50 PM ET 2011-01-13T18:05:50

Mortars allegedly fired from Afghanistan hit a house in a militant-infested area of Pakistan on Thursday, killing eight people, officials said. A pair of attacks elsewhere in the northwest killed four officers.

The mortar attack occurred in Tity Mada Khel village in North Waziristan, part of Pakistan's lawless tribal area dominated by militants who regularly launch attacks against foreign troops in Afghanistan, according to intelligence officials.

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The dead included five men and three women, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media. An additional 11 people were wounded in the attack, they said.

The intelligence officials claimed the mortars were fired by Afghan or foreign forces in Afghanistan. NATO officials in Afghanistan said they were investigating the allegations.

The U.S. has pressed Pakistan to launch an offensive against militants in North Waziristan, but the government has refused, saying its forces are stretched too thin in other parts of the tribal area. Many analysts believe Pakistan is reluctant to target militants with whom it has historical ties and could be useful allies in Afghanistan after U.S.-led forces withdraw.

Given Pakistan's reluctance, the U.S. has relied heavily on drone attacks to target militants in North Waziristan. Reports of mortar attacks from Afghanistan causing casualties are rare.

Earlier Thursday, three policemen were killed and five other security personnel were wounded when a remote-controlled bomb destroyed a vehicle carrying police and paramilitary forces in the Bannu district of troubled Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province, said Rafique Khan, a local police official.

Khan blamed local Islamic militants but offered no evidence to back up his claim.

A bomb also ripped through a checkpoint manned by tribal police in Bara, a town near the northwestern city of Peshawar, killing one officer and wounding four others, police official Iqbal Khan said.


Associated Press writers Riaz Khan in Peshawar and Ishtiaq Mahsud in Dera Ismail Khan contributed to this report.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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