Suicide bomber kills 31 at Pakistan funeral

A suicide bomber targeting members of an anti-Taliban militia blew himself up during funeral prayers in northwest Pakistan.

Islamabad: A suicide bomber targeted the
funeral of an anti-Taliban tribal elder in northwest Pakistan
on Friday, killing 31 people and injuring more than 70 others.

The bomber struck as some 200 people were offering the
`namaz-e-janaza` for Safeer Sultan Khan in Jandol area of
Lower Dir district in the restive Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province
this afternoon, police and witnesses said.

Witnesses said the bomber was a man with a long beard.
Officials said a total of 31 people were killed by the
powerful blast.

The injured were taken to hospitals in nearby towns.

Police said the attack was directed against relatives of
the tribal elder, who had formed an anti-Taliban militia and
played a key role in combating militancy.

The elder whose funeral was targeted was the nephew of
Malik Muhammad Zareen, a prominent tribal leader who was
himself killed in a suicide attack in Kunar province of
Afghanistan in April, Geo News channel reported.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack.
Such strikes are usually blamed on the Pakistani Taliban.

The militants have in the past carried out suicide
attacks on funerals of pro-government tribal elders and police

Today`s attack came two days after Taliban fighters
killed six persons, including five children, in an incident on
the outskirts of Peshawar city.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for that incident,
saying they had targeted members of a pro-government tribe.


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