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Asia-pacific

Dozens dead in tribal region bombings

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-08-23

Two bombs exploded in separate locations in Pakistan’s northwest tribal areas on Monday, killing at least 33 people. The deadliest was at a mosque in South Waziristan, which killed at least 20 including a prominent local cleric.

AP - Two bomb attacks killed at least 33 people Monday in tribally administered regions in Pakistan close to the Afghan border, officials and a witness said.

The deadliest blast was a suicide attack at a mosque inside a religious school in South Waziristan that killed 26 people and injured 40 more, said an intelligence official in the region. He spoke on condition of anonymity in line with the orders set down by his agency.

He said Maulana Noor Mohammad, a former lawmaker who ran the school, was among the dead.

Yar Mohammad, a local tribesman who was present inside the mosque, also said it was a suicide blast.

There was no claim of responsibility, though Islamist militants have often attacked clerics or others who do not support them. It was unclear whether Mohammad fell into that category. Militant and tribal factions also fight among themselves.

Earlier, a bomb exploded inside a school during a meeting of elders in Kurram tribal region, killing seven people.

Local official Khalid Umerzai said the elders at the meeting were discussing a disagreement over ownership of the school building. It wasn't clear if the blast was tied to that dispute or if it had been launched by Islamist militants.

The army has launched offensives in South Waziristan and Kurram over the last 18 months.

There is little or no government presence in either area.

South Waziristan was affected by the floods that have swept Pakistan over the past month, with 18 bridges washed away and about three dozen deaths in the tribal area. Kurram was not hit by the floods.

Date created : 2010-08-23

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