40 killed in suicide attack at 'Jirga' in Pakistan

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Islamabad, Mar 2 (UNI) Forty people were killed and 35 wounded when a suicide bomber attacked a tribal 'Jirga' (assembly) in Dera Adamkhel in northwestern Pakistan today.

According to official sources, ''notables from five clans of Darra Adamkhel held a 'Jirga' in Zarghon Khel. The suicide bomber struck the assembly immediately after the meeting was ended, killing 30 people including three critically wounded who succumbed to their injuries at hospital.'' Over 450 people have been killed in militant related violence this year alone. A suicide bomb campaign targeting security forces intensified after the army stormed the Lal Masjid last July to crush a militant student movement.

The violence has raised concern about the stability of Pakistan as it passes through a period of political transition, with doubts over how long President Pervez Musharraf can hold onto power after his allies lost the parliamentary election.

The wounded were shifted to hospitals as emergency was declared at local medical facilities, Geo TV reported.

Fifteen critically wounded have been transferred to Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, while remaining were shifted to other hospitals of Kohat and Peshawar.

A losing independent candidate of the recent elections Noor Zaman Afridi was also killed in the attack, while father of Senator Razzaq was wounded in the bombing.

The notables in their meeting had decided to burn houses of those tribesmen and impose fine who will provide shelter to foreign miscreants.

Local tribal elder Haji Saif Wazeer had called the Jirga.

Security has been tightened in the area after the attack.

At least 38 people were killed by a suicide bomber at a police funeral in northwest Pakistan on Friday.

On Monday, the army's top medical officer was killed in a bomb attack in Rawalpindi.


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