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Roadside bomb kills three Pakistani soldiers as violence spirals

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[March 05, 2014]  ISLAMABAD (Reuters)  A roadside bomb killed at least three soldiers on Wednesday as militant violence spiralled across Pakistan despite the government's increasingly futile efforts to engage the Pakistani Taliban in peace negotiations.

On Monday, gunmen burst into a court killing at least 11 people in a rare suicide-bomb and gun attack in the heart of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad.

Security officials said three soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb near the northwestern town of Hangu. No one immediately claimed responsibility.

The Pakistani Taliban, who have declared a month-long ceasefire to pursue peace talks with the government, have tried to distance themselves from recent attacks but continuing violence shows they are not fully in control of all its various factions.

A previously unknown group calling itself Ahrar-ul-Hind claimed responsibility for Monday's attack on the court.

The persistent violence has threatened to shatter any prospect of meaningful peace talks.

(Reporting by Maria Golovnina; editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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