9 die in suicide bombing in northwest Pakistan

KHAR, — A suicide attacker targeted a police checkpoint in northwestern onSaturday, killing at least seven civilians and two officers, a governmentofficial said.

Bakhat Pacha said 10 people werealso wounded in the attack in Khar, the main town in the Bajur tribal region.Most among the injured were passers-by, he said, adding the attacker was onfoot and police had recovered his body parts.

Pacha provided no further details,but the attack came a day after officials said security forces had killed 44militants in three days of battles on the outskirts of Khar.

launched a major militaryoffensive against insurgents in Bajur in 2008, clearing most of the area ofmilitants, but clashes have continued since then.