Top Pak politician escapes suicide attack, 15 killed
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Islamabad, Mar 11: A senior anti-Taliban politician had a narrow escape when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a funeral on the outskirts of Peshawar city in northwest Pakistan today, killing 15 people and injuring nearly 40 others.
The bomber struck in Badabher area of Peshawar just after Khushdil Khan, Deputy Speaker of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, left a graveyard after attending funeral prayers for a local resident, police said.
Khan was the target of the bomber but he escaped unhurt as he left the area 10 minutes before the blast, Peshawar police chief Imtiaz Altaf told reporters.
Khan belongs to the secular Awami National Party, whose leaders and workers have been targeted by the Taliban in the past.
Thirteen people were killed instantly while two others succumbed to the injuries at the Lady Reading Hospital, police and hospital officials said. Another 37 people were injured.
Several of the wounded were in a serious condition and the death toll could rise, the officials said.
Police said they had found the legs and head of the suicide bomber.
They said most of the casualties were caused by ball bearings packed into the attacker’s suicide vest.Several vehicles were damaged by the powerful blast.Security forces cordoned off the area and launched a search operation.
No group claimed responsibility for the attack.
Badabher has a strong anti-Taliban 'lashkar' or private militia that supports the security forces against militants.
It was not clear if any leader of the militia was attending the funeral. This was the second terror attack in Badabher in less than two months.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 11 Mar 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 11 Mar 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 12 Mar 2012 00:00:00 IST
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