Widow of slain Pakistani reporter killed in blast

The widow of a Pakistani journalist, shot dead last year after reporting that an al Qaeda leader was killed by a U.S. missile, was killed in a bomb blast on Saturday in a northwestern tribal region, a family member said.The bomb planted outside the family house in the town of Mir Ali, in the North Waziristan region near the Afghan border, went off early in the morning, killing the woman, Mehr-un-Nisa, on the spot.

“All her five children who slept in the same room survived miraculously,” said her brother-in-law, Ihsanullah Khan. Nisa’s husband, Hayatullah Khan, was found dead in June, 2006 nearly seven months after he was abducted shortly after reporting on an explosion in a militant hideout near the Afghan border that killed Abu Hamza Rabia.

Authorities said he was a senior al Qaeda leader and was killed on December1 2005 when explosives stored at the hideout went off accidentally.

Khan, who reported for various publications, was the first journalist to photograph fragments found at the scene that appeared to be from a U.S. missile.

Pakistan is a U.S. ally but it does not officially allow its forces to operate or attack targets on its soil, considered sensitive because of Pakistani opposition to the country’s alliance with U.S..

No one has claimed the responsibility of the Saturday’s blast in Mir Ali, a town where many al Qaeda militants are reputedly concentrated.

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