kill nine at Pakistani policeman's home as peace talks proceed
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[February 12, 2014]
By Syed Raza Hassan
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) — Gunmen tossed hand
grenades into the house of a slain Pakistani police officer on
Wednesday, police said, killing nine men in an attack coinciding with
peace talks between the government and Pakistan Taliban militants.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the early
morning assault on the house on the outskirts of the northwestern
city of Peshawar. On Tuesday, attackers hurled grenades into a
Peshawar cinema, killing 13.
The peace talks between government representatives and Taliban are
taking place in the capital Islamabad, about 200 km (120 miles) to
the east. Both sides are supposed to refrain from attacks while
talks proceed, although there is no formal ceasefire.
It was not immediately clear why the gunmen targeted the house of
the policeman, a mid-ranking inspector killed in a shoot-out with
militants last Sunday.
About a dozen men threw grenades over the house's walls in the early
hours of the morning and then clambered over, Peshawar Police Chief
Ijaz Khan Mohmand told Reuters.
"After entering, they shot all the men in the in the house using
AK-47 rifles," he said. Women and children in the house were spared.
Peshawar, a sprawling provincial capital, is the gateway to
Pakistan's frontier with Afghanistan and has been badly hit by
Pakistani Taliban insurgents have been battling for years to topple
the government, banish democracy and establish their brand of
Islamist rule. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif wants to negotiate a
settlement and stop the fighting.
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Many experts are doubtful that talks will succeed — previous deals
have all collapsed in violence. Some worry any governing role for
the Taliban is incompatible with the country's laws.
Others point out that even if the government clinches a deal with
the Taliban, there are many more militant groups that routinely
(Reporting by Syed Raza Hassan; editing by Ron Popeski)
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