Toll climbs to 30 in suicide attack in Pakistan

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Swat (Pakistan), Mar 1: At least 30 people were killed and more than 40 injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up in the middle of funeral prayers for a senior police official here on Friday night.

The media quoted Pakistani Intelligence Officials as saying at least 38 have been killed in the attack.This was the second major suicide attack since February 18 parliamentary elections, which brought to fore moderate political forces including slain opposition leader Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan's People's Party, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League and nationalist Awami National party, blowing a major defeat to President Pervez Musharraf's allies in Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid.

Surgeon General Pakistan's armed forces Lieutenant General Mushtaq Baig was killed in a suicide attack on February 25 in the garrison town of Rawalpindi where more than 70 people have been killed in a series of explosions and terror strikes since December 27, 2007 when Bhutto was assassinated in a gun and bomb blast after addressing an election rally.

While hospital sources in Swat city confirmed death of 30 people in tonight's suicide attack, Pakistan's private Geo TV put the death toll at 40.

Hundreds of people had gathered in Swat to offer funeral prayers for a senior police official, who was one of the three killed in a roadside bomb explosion in Lakki Marwat town, bordering restive North Waziristan region, this morning. More than 900 people have been killed in a series of suicide attacks and bomb blasts all over the country since January 2007.

Most of the attacks were targeted again military personnel and installations especially in the troubled tribal region and northwestern parts of the country.

The latest attack came a day after a suspected US missile strike killed at least eight people in Azam Warsak village of South Waziristan region, where the army has been battling the al-Qaeda and Taliban operatives since October 2003.

The pro-Taliban militants announced a unilateral ceasefire in South Waziristan early this month but the army refused to reciprocate, saying there may be a tactical pause in the ongoing anti-terror operation but it will continue till the region is purged of militants.


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