Suicide bomber kills 8 tribesmen in NW Pakistan

A suicide bomber targeted pro-government tribal elders in Pakistan's northwestern frontier Saturday, killing eight men, officials said, a day after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during a visit here implored Pakistanis to take decisive steps to fight terrorism.

Ten people were also were wounded when a bomb ripped through a restaurant at a market in the troubled Bajur tribal region, near the Afghan border, officials said.

A government administrator, Shad Khan, said a man on foot carried out the suicide attack. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility.

The attack came a day after Clinton and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, made a seven-hour trip to Pakistan in a bid to repair ties damaged by the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden, which Pakistanis say was an attack on its sovereignty.

On Saturday, Pakistan's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tahmina Janjua said Clinton's visit had helped clear up misunderstandings and that the two sides would cooperate on raids against terror suspects.

Clinton referred Friday to joint operations coming soon, and U.S. officials said the U.S. and Pakistan agreed to take some specific measures together.

In one sign of a slight warming trend, CIA and Pakistani intelligence officials completed a joint search of the bin Laden compound in Abbottabad Friday, a Pakistani official said.

Saturday's attack, in the village of Salarzai, underscored the militants' ability to strike at the tribesmen, who have often sided with government troops in efforts to rout insurgents.

Pakistani Taliban spokesman, Ahsanullah Ahsan, claimed responsibility, saying the elders were targeted because they were helping the security forces.

Bajur is considered a militant stronghold and violence has persisted there since last year, when the military claimed that it had defeated Taliban and al-Qaida militants after more than a year of fighting.

On Thursday, a Pakistani Taliban suicide bomber detonated a pickup truck loaded with explosives near several government offices in northwest Pakistan, killing at least 32 people.

Thursday's blast was the latest in a series of attacks to hit the country since the bin Laden raid, including an 18-hour siege of a naval base in Pakistan's south.