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PESHAWAR, Pakistan – A suicide car bomber blew himself up near a convoy of security forces in northwestern Pakistan on Tuesday, killing five people and wounding 29 others, police said.
In another development, the military said it carried out airstrikes against militant hideouts near the Afghan border, killing 19 insurgents.
The bombing in Peshawar took place as the deputy commander of the paramilitary Frontier Corps, Brig. Khalid Javed, was driving along a busy road in a convoy, the city's police chief Ijaz Ahmed said.
He said Javed escaped unharmed, but one of the soldiers and four bystanders were killed.
"This suicide car bombing in Peshawar seems to be a reaction to the ongoing military operation against Pakistani Taliban and foreign militants in North Waziristan," he told The Associated Press.
He said five people, including a soldier, were killed and 29 people were wounded in the suicide attack.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes at a time when Pakistani security forces have been carrying out a major operation against the Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaida in North Waziristan. The long-awaited June 15 operation was launched after militants attacked Pakistan's one of the busiest airports in the southern city of Karachi.
The operation is aimed at targeting those accused of targeting U.S. forces in Afghanistan and attacking civilians and security forces in Pakistan.
The Pakistan army continued targeting militants near the Afghan border Tuesday.
Air strikes there targeted militant hideouts in border town of Ghulam Khan in North Waziristan on Tuesday and killed militants, the military said.
It provided no further details, but the military has said about 1,100 suspected militants have been killed there in the past three months.
The Pakistani Taliban is a loose network of local militant groups who want to overthrow Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's elected government in a bid to install their own harsh brand of Islamic law. The latest attack came shortly before Sharif left for New York to the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Associated Press Writers in Asif Shahzad and Munir Ahmed contributed to this report from Islamabad.