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Deadly suicide bombing in northern Pakistan

Latest update : 2008-05-19

A suicide bomber killed 13 people in the northwestern Pakistani city of Mardan, an area that has seen several attacks by pro-Taliban militants in recent months, official sources reported.

A suicide bombing in the northwestern Pakistani city of Mardan on Sunday killed at least 13 people and wounded many others, a government minister said.
  
The blast happened outside a bakery near a military base in the city, which has experienced several attacks blamed on pro-Taliban Islamist militants in recent months.
  
"At least 13 people are dead," said Bashir Bilour, senior minister for North West Frontier Province.
  
"It could be an attempt to disrupt the peace talks or a reaction to Damadola," he added, referring to a recent missile strike by coalition forces based in Afghanistan on suspected Taliban militants in Pakistan's tribal belt.
  
The bombing comes after recent headway in talks between the rebels and Pakistan's new coalition government, which took power in March after defeating allies of President Pervez Musharraf.
  
The negotiations have led to a relative lull in attacks after a wave of blasts across the country over the past year killed around 1,000 people.
  
Senior police official Tahir Khan said that 19 people were injured in Sunday's bombing, which he called a suicide attack.
  
"We have found two legs and several human limbs and body parts from the blast site," he told AFP. "The victims include four army personnel.
  
"We believe the suicide bomber came on foot up to the front of the bakery."
  
Hospital doctor Muh Tasim Khan said six bodies had been brought to the hospital and about 20 people were injured, although the exact number was not known because there was a power cut at the clinic.
  
The scene of the blast is near the Punjab Regimental Centre in the city, a base for troops involved in operations against militants in Pakistan's northwestern tribal regions bordering Afghanistan.
  
A car bomb ripped through a police station in Mardan on April 25, killing four people and wounding another 30. The Taliban claimed responsibility saying it was in revenge for the killing of a rebel leader by police.
  
Earlier Sunday an armed group of pro-Taliban militants occupied a lawmaker's house in the troubled Bajaur tribal area, taking his relatives and servants hostage, witnesses and officials said.
  
Shaukatullah Khan was out of town when up to 40 armed militants stormed his house, alleging that Khan had made lot of money and that it was the property of local tribes.

Date created : 2008-05-19

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