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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Suicide bomber kills 47 in Pakistan tribal region: official

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, July 9, IRNA -- A suicide bomber on Friday blew himself up in a crowd outside the office of a top government official in Pakistan’s tribal region and killed at least 47 people, a top official in the region said.

A large number of people were present outside the office of deputy administrative officer in Mohmand Agency when the bomber exploded his bomb attached to a motorcycle, two witnesses said.

Assistant Political Agent Rasool Khan said 47 people were killed and 80 others were injured in the attack.

He said that the bomber targeted members of peace committee who were scheduled to hold meeting with the local administrative officer.

Khan said that more bodies were pulled out of the debris of destroyed buildings.

Hospital sources said that children, women and security guards from the local militia force known as ?Khasadar’ were among those killed and injured.

Ishaq Khan, a guard at the bombed office of the deputy administrative officer, said that the bomber was riding a motorcycle and blew his bomb as he arrived outside the office.

Khan said that scores of people buried under the rubble of several buildings, including a prison, which collapsed after the blast.

The office of Assistant Political Agent, the real target of the bomber, is located in Yakaghund, a main town in Mohmand agency, officials said.

The officer was not in the office at the time of the blast, guard Ishaq Khan said.

The injured were shifted by the locals to hospitals in the area and many were later shifted to main hospitals in Peshawar, the capital of northwest Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa.

Emergency was declared in Peshawar's main Lady Reading hospital, doctors said.

Abdul Rahim at the emergency ward of the hospital said that over 50 injured were shifted to Lady Reading Hospital. He said a child, woman and male died in the hospital of wounds.

Doctors said 10 of the injured are registered to be in critical condition.

Faizullah, a witness said his cloth shop was also damaged in the attack and was pulled out of the debris by the people. He said his brother had been missing after the blast who was later found alive.

The witness said that the attack destroyed several buildings including three roadside restaurants. He said it was the huge blast he ever seen in the area.

Another witness Ajmal said the attacker blew himself at 9:30 a.m. and that the people took part in the rescue activities. He complained that the ambulances arrived late at the blast site. He said several government employees at the office of the administrative officer are among those killed and injured.

No group claimed responsibility for the blast.

Taliban militants had been active in Mohmand Agency, a tribal region between Peshawar and Bajaur tribal region.

Officials say that fleeing militants from Bajaur have also taken shelter in Mohmand agency and last month a large number of militants attacked a security checkpoint in Mohmand agency and kidnapped dozens of paramilitary soldiers. Central spokesman for Pakistani Taliban Mohammad Omar was also arrested in Mohmand agency last year.

Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has strongly condemned the Blast in Mohmand Agency and expressed deep grief and sorrow over the loss of lives, the PM office said.

He ordered an enquiry into the incident and provision of best medical facilites to the injured, a statement said.


End News / IRNA / News Code 1220156

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