The South Asia Channel

One killed in explosion at mall in northwest Pakistan

Violence unabated

An explosion at a mall in the northwestern city of Peshawar on Thursday killed one person and wounded 12 others (AP, Dawn). Local police officials said the bomb was intended for shops selling mobile phones, which the Taliban has criticized for allowing unmarried men and women to communicate or spread inappropriate content.

Australia has offered asylum to 2,500 Hazara families who have been affected by violent extremism in Pakistan (ET, Dawn). Extremist Sunni militants have been waging an escalating campaign of violent attacks on the minority Hazara community that is concentrated in Pakistan's southwest. And U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said Wednesday that the CIA's drone program has killed 4,700 people, marking the first time a U.S. official has publicly given a concrete number to the casualty count from drone strikes (AFP).

War marches on

NATO and Afghan forces killed at least 25 insurgents and three of their commanders in joint operations across Afghanistan, officials said Wednesday, indicating that the war against anti-government forces in the country is far from over (AP).

A popular female member of parliament in Afghanistan, Fawzia Koofi, has announced her intention to run in the country's 2014 presidential elections, and has launched a campaign website that focuses on promoting women's rights and stamping out corruption (Toronto Star). Koofi has been celebrated in the West as a symbol of progress in Afghanistan, and has survived several assassination attempts.

-- Jennifer Rowland

A Majeed/AFP/GettyImages