Bomb explosion kills 16 in northwestern Pakistan

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Islamabad, Feb 22 (UNI) At least 16 people, most of them children, were killed and over a dozen others injured in a bomb explosion in Pakistan's northwestern Swat valley today.

According to local police officials, a double-cabin vehicle of a marriage party hit an improvised explosive device (IED) in Matta area of Swat town killing 16 people.

Officials said the injured people were shifted to hospitals in nearby Saidu Sharif town hospitals, adding, that it was too early to say whether it was an act of terror or an enmity, which caused the blast.

Hunderds of suspected Islamic militants had been killed and apprehended in the insurgency-hit Swat and surrounding areas since the Army launched an anti-terror operation to cleanse the valley off rebels, led by a pro-Taliban commander Maulana Fazalullah, also known as ''Mulla'' radio for running his own FM stations and instigating the locals against the armed forces.

Emergency has been declared in Matta and Saidu Sharif hospitals after the incident, which was the first major one after the February 18 Parliamentary Elections.

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