Anti-Pakistan Taliban leader Idrees Khan was among five people killed in the blast caused by an improvised explosive device in the northwestern city of Swat.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. (AP Archive)

Five people have been killed in a blast in northwestern Pakistan, including an influential anti-Pakistani Taliban tribal leader, in the first major bombing in over a decade in an area that was once a battleground between security forces and militants.

Tuesday's attack came as fears rise about the return of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), also known as the Pakistani Taliban, to the Swat area of Pakistan, and peace talks between security forces and militants, which started last year, have failed.

Peace committee leader Idrees Khan's vehicle drove over an improvised explosive device, killing him and two bodyguards, Swat police officer Zahid Marwat told Reuters news agency.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. 

Khan was a local elder and previously the head of a tribal force fighting against the TTP in Swat. 

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First major blast since 2009

Pakistani forces, along with local fighters, were able to drive the militants from the area in an intense military operation in 2009. 

The operation had made global headlines with the international community fearing the rapid advance of the TTP fighters toward the capital, Islamabad.

Local residents said Tuesday's blast was the first major blast in Swat after the military operation in the picturesque valley.

Locals told Reuters that many affluent residents and political leaders had already shifted their families out of Swat in recent weeks after the TTP resurfaced in the area.

READ MORE: Pakistani Taliban member with $3M US bounty 'killed' in Afghanistan

Source: Reuters