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Pakistan orders house detention of prominent militant for exacerbating sectarian tension
ISLAMABAD (AP) ' Police say the Pakistani government has placed under house detention an Islamist militant accused in dozens of killings but released from prison two months ago.
Police officer Sohail Chatta says the Punjab provincial government issued the 10-day detention order against Malik Ishaq on Wednesday because he was exacerbating tensions between Sunni and Shiite Muslims.
Another police officer said on Thursday that Ishaq has been stoking anger toward Shiites in public speeches. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.
Ishaq is a founder of the banned Sunni extremist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. He was freed on bail in July after 14 years in prison because there was not enough evidence to keep holding him.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
KHAR, Pakistan (AP) ' A pickup truck carrying anti-Taliban militiamen hit a roadside bomb in northwest Pakistan near the Afghan border on Thursday, killing five people, said a government official.
Another vehicle was damaged and eight people were wounded in the incident, which occurred in the Chamarkand area of the Bajur tribal region, said Adalat Khan, a local government administrator. Three of the dead were men who had taken up arms against the Taliban and the bomb was likely targeting them, said Khan.
The government has encouraged the formation of anti-Taliban militias, or lashkars, and their members have repeatedly been targeted by the militants.
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.
Elsewhere in the northwest, security forces killed three militants and arrested two others who were holed up with weapons in a house in Mingora, the main town in the Swat Valley, said army spokesman Col. Arif Mahmood. Two of the militants were shot dead overnight by security forces, and the third blew himself up, said Mahmood.
The Taliban controlled Swat until the army launched a large offensive in 2009. Mingora has been fairly peaceful since then, but the clash could stoke fears of militant resurgence.
In the south, two children were killed and 11 others were wounded Thursday when an explosive they were playing with, likely a hand grenade, blew up, said police officer Abdullah Shaikh. The incident took place in Meo Takkar village in Sindh province, where hundreds of people have taken refuge to escape floods wracking large parts of the south. It is unclear where the children got the hand grenade, said Shaikh.
Associated Press writers Sherin Zada in Mingora and Ashraf Khan in Karachi contributed to this report.