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Bomb Blasts Hit Pakistan Shops, Policeman Killed - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AFP) – Suspected militants blew up six music shops in restive northwest Pakistan, while a policeman was killed in a resulting gun battle with the rebels, officials said.

Militants also targeted a hair salon in a conservative district of North West Frontier Province, seriously injuring a barber in the bomb blast, a police official said.

The tribal policeman was killed in a village after militants blew up three music shops deemed un-Islamic and traded fire with police late Wednesday, police official Mukarram Khan told AFP.

Another policeman was hurt and a militant injured during the gunfight was captured, he said.

Early Thursday two blasts rocked a town damaging three more music shops and the hair salon, police official Azhar Ali told AFP.

The barber, who lost both his hands in the explosion, was taken to hospital in a serious condition, the official said.

Police defused a third home-made bomb fitted with a timer which was planted under an electricity transformer in the area, he said.

Salons are sometimes targeted by militants who deem shaving beards as un-Islamic. Music was banned under the former hard-line Taliban regime in neighbouring Afghanistan, while men were required to grow beards.

Islamic militancy is spreading in the deeply conservative Pakistan province where militants, emulating the Taliban, who ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, strive to impose their own strict brand of Islam.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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