The blast occurred near Pakistan's tribal belt, and was the latest bloodshed to rattle the country since the army launched a military offensive against Taliban fighters in the. The operation has scattered insurgents but provoked apparent reprisal attacks that have killed more than 500 people since October.That's on the heels of another devastating bombing that killed 44 in Karachi last week.
Police said Friday's bombing in Lakki Marwat city, not far from South Waziristan, was possible retaliation for local residents' efforts to keep militants out of the area.
"The locality has been a hub of militants. Locals set up a militia and expelled the militants from this area. This attack seems to be reaction to their expulsion," local police chief Ayub Khan told reporters.
He said the bomber drove a vehicle loaded with 550 pounds (250 kilograms) of high-intensity explosives onto the field, which lies in a congested neighborhood, during the volleyball contest.
Some nearby houses collapsed, and "we fear that some 10 or so people might have been trapped in the rubble," Khan said.
In addition, a group of local tribal elders were holding a meeting at a mosque nearby. The mosque was damaged and some people there died, he said.
Also, this past Wednesday, the Taliban managed to infiltrate a US military base and carried out a successful suicide bombing in Afghanistan where seven CIA agents, including a station chief, were killed - a significant loss in the war on terror given their collective experience and contacts.
The Taliban claimed responsibility Thursday for the bombing, which was carried out by suicide bomber wearing an Afghan National Army uniform. Some senior officials think the bomber may have been given access to the base because he was believed to be an informant, said two former intelligence officials.The CIA has been heavily involved in the UAV airstrike campaign against high value targets, including most notably al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The loss of those CIA agents could hamper efforts to go after those high value targets although Bill Roggio reports that a senior adviser to Mullah Omar was killed on New Year's eve.
Several former intelligence officials described the attack in Afghanistan as "devastating" to the agency. A number of the officers killed had been counterterrorism operatives since before the 9/11 attacks. The base played a critical role in the CIA's significant operations in the country, including helping with drone attacks and informant networks in Pakistan.
The loss of seven officers is significant for a relatively small agency whose workforce is estimated to be 10,000 or more, but it's all the more damaging because those lost represented so much collective experience.