Death Toll at 95 in Pakistan Volleyball Bombing
VOA News 02 January 2010
More bodies are being pulled from the rubble of a sports complex in northwestern Pakistan, raising the death toll in Friday's attack on a volleyball game to at least 95.
Survivors prepared for funerals Saturday, while officials warn the number of victims is likely to increase as recovery efforts moved through their second day.
Police say the suicide bomber drove onto a crowded field in the North-West Frontier Province town of Lakki Marwat Friday and detonated his explosive-laden vehicle while hundreds of spectators watched the match, including women and children.
The blast caused nearby homes to collapse and damaged a nearby mosque where tribal elders were meeting.
Police say that meeting may have been the attacker's intended target.
Some officials have raised concerns about meager medical facilities in Lakki Marwat. Doctors from surrounding areas have come to the town to help treat the more than 100 wounded.
There have been no claims of responsibility, but provincial police chief Malik Naveed tells VOA the bombing may be a militant revenge attack against local residents who set up a militia force to combat Taliban insurgents.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a statement Friday, saying the United States strongly condemns the attack and will continue to stand with Pakistan in its efforts to combat violent extremism and bolster democracy.
Clinton said terrorists have targeted schools, markets, mosques, "and now a volleyball game." She said the U.S. supports Pakistan in its efforts to chart a "future free from fear and intimidation."
Friday's attack was the deadliest in Pakistan in more than two months.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.
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