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Bombs kill 1, wound 3 in western Pakistan

 Pakistan firefighters work to extinguish a tanker carrying supplies for NATO which was destroyed in an apparent bomb attack, en route to neighboring ...
 Supporters of Pakistani religious party Jammiat Ulema-e-Islam rally to condemn U.S. drone attacks in Pakistani tribal territory against Taliban and a...
 Supporters of Pakistani religious party Jammiat Ulema-e-Islam rally to condemn U.S. drone attacks in Pakistani tribal territory against Taliban and a...
 Men look at a tanker carrying supplies for NATO which was destroyed in an apparent bomb attack, en route to neighboring Afghanistan, at the Pakistani...

Pakistan NATO

Pakistan firefighters work to extinguish a tanker carrying supplies for NATO which was destroyed in an apparent bomb attack, en route to neighboring ...

Pakistan

Supporters of Pakistani religious party Jammiat Ulema-e-Islam rally to condemn U.S. drone attacks in Pakistani tribal territory against Taliban and a...

Pakistan

Supporters of Pakistani religious party Jammiat Ulema-e-Islam rally to condemn U.S. drone attacks in Pakistani tribal territory against Taliban and a...

Pakistan NATO

Men look at a tanker carrying supplies for NATO which was destroyed in an apparent bomb attack, en route to neighboring Afghanistan, at the Pakistani...

A group of 23 Pakistani tribesmen kidnapped by the Taliban and held captive for three weeks have been released after being submerged in cold water as punishment for meeting with an army general chief, officials said Friday.
Such kidnappings further threaten the government's shaky effort to convince hundreds of thousands of displaced civilians that the Taliban are defeated and that it is safe to return to their homes in North and South Waziristan.
Meanwhile, two bombs targeting a police building and a NATO truck convoy in western Pakistan killed a bystander and wounded three people Friday, officials said.
Pakistan Taliban spokesman Azam Tariq announced on Friday that that the 23 tribesmen kidnapped for meeting with the Pakistani army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani at a gathering in a western tribal district in early December had been released after being tried by a Taliban court and being submerged in cold water as punishment.
Three intelligence sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the secrecy of their jobs, later confirmed that all the tribesmen had been freed, although the date of their release was not clear.
One of the 23, Shahbat Malik, said he had been reunited with his family in North Waziristan tribal district after being held in a prison-like cell for three weeks. He declined to comment on treatment in captivity.
Malik said that he satisfied the Taliban court that he and the other tribesmen had not gone to see the general in a bid to support the military, but to seek aid for their families.
"We were released after a Taliban court found us innocent," he told The Associated Press.
Another freed tribesman, Mohammad Amin, said he was relieved to rejoin his family. "It is a big deal to get out of Taliban detention," Amin said. "It's a new life."
Tariq said the tribesmen kidnapped for attending a function in the South Waziristan border district on Dec. 7 had told the Taliban court that they had had no idea that Gen. Kayani would be there.
"After that meeting, they learned that the person who met with them was the country's army chief," Tariq told the AP in a telephone call from an undisclosed location.
The court ruled that the men be freed, but their Taliban captors had already punished them by immersing them in cold water, Tariq said.
Tariq also warned Islamabad against launching any further military operations in North Waziristan, which has carried the brunt of an escalation in U.S. missile attacks on militant targets in the past year.
"If the government launches any operation, it will make millions of people homeless, and we will retaliate by targeting the security forces everywhere in Pakistan," Tariq said.
The kidnappings and Friday's bombings also challenge the Pakistan military's claim to have ousted al-Qaida and the Taliban from their border havens from where they have launched attacks on U.S.-led NATO forces in Afghanistan.
One of the bombs exploded outside a northwest district police headquarters in the town of Lakki Marwat and further south at the border town of Chaman, officials said. The blast killed a bystander who had yet to be identified and wounded two local residents, police official Rafique Khan said.
Islamic militants often target government offices, especially police stations, as well as Western buildings in Pakistan's restive regions near the Afghanistan border.
The second bombing took place in Chaman, targeting a NATO supply convoy bound for Afghanistan, local government official Habibullah Khan said. A fuel tanker caught fire and a private car was damaged by the explosion which also wounded the car's driver, Khan said.
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Associated Press writers Matiullah Achakzai in Chaman and Rasool Dawar in Peshawar contributed to this report.


Updated : 2021-07-29 06:48 GMT+08:00