MIRANSHAH, Pakistan (AFP) -Six foreign Al-Qaeda suspects including a woman were killed when a bomb they were making exploded in Pakistan”s restive tribal region near the Afghan border, the military said.
"It seems the explosion occurred when these people were busy making an improvised explosive device for terrorist activity," chief military spokesman Major General Shaukat Sultan told AFP on Saturday, quoting local administration officials.
Residents said the blast happened at about 1:30 am (2030 GMT Friday) in a house near Mir Ali, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) east of Miranshah, the main town in the rugged tribal zone of North Waziristan.
Sultan said six people were killed, one of whom was female, and they were all believed to be foreigners although their exact nationalities were still being investigated.
He said there were no further details on their identities or whether they were wanted militants.
The blast during the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr came days after security forces killed an Arab Al-Qaeda suspect and seized another in a shootout in Quetta, capital of the southwestern province of Baluchistan.
Security officials there were no indications that one of the men involved in the Quetta incident was Syrian Al-Qaeda operative Mustafa Setmariam Nasar, as earlier suspected.
The United States has offered a five-million-dollar reward for the capture of Nasar, also known as Abu Musab al-Suri, who has reported links to the Madrid and London bombings.
Hundreds of insurgents with suspected links to Al-Qaeda sneaked into Pakistan across the porous border from Afghanistan after US-led forces ousted the hardline Taliban regime there in late 2001.
Pakistani security forces last year killed several hundred Al-Qaeda-linked militants and also lost 250 soldiers in siege and search operations in the adjoining South Waziristan region.
The army this year shifted its focus to North Waziristan and in a recent clash killed up to 40 militants, about half of them foreigners.