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Bombing kills provincial minister in Pakistan

  • Story Highlights
  • Explosion engulfed the vehicle the minister, Alam Zeb, was riding in
  • Blast occurred in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province
  • Pakistan intelligence officials say area is rife with Islamic extremists
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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- A bomb attack in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province Wednesday killed a provincial minister, police said. Eight others were injured in the bombing.

The explosion engulfed the vehicle the minister, Alam Zeb, was riding in. Police said the bomb was remotely detonated when the car was driving by about 11:30 a.m.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani condemned the attack and ordered authorities to launch an investigation.

Peshawar is the capital of the North West Frontier Province, which intelligence officials say is rife with Islamic extremists and has been the site of recent clashes between Pakistani security forces and militants.

The Taliban are imposing their strict brand of Islamic law in sections of the region -- banning music, forbidding men from shaving, and not allowing teenage girls to attend school.

Government officials say the Taliban have torched and destroyed more than 180 schools in the Swat Valley. Many families have fled the area, and have been followed by many Pakistani police officers who are too scared to take on Taliban forces, a Pakistani army spokesman told CNN in late January.

The Taliban seized control of Afghanistan in 1996 -- harboring al Qaeda leaders, including Osama bin Laden -- and ruled it until they were ousted from power in 2001 after the September 11 attacks on the United States.

Since then, the Taliban have regrouped and are battling U.S. and NATO-led forces.

-- CNN's Zein Basravi contributed to this report.

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