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31 killed, 60 injured in Pakistan suicide blast, Taliban claiming responsibility

(Xinhua)

08:01, September 16, 2011

People transfer an injured person to a hospital in northwest Pakistan's Peshawar on Sept. 15, 2011. At least 31 people were killed and some 60 others injured when a suicide bomber hit a pro-government elder's funeral in Pakistan's northwest district of Lower Dir on Thursday, reported local Urdu TV channel DAWN. (Xinhua/Umar Qayyum)

ISLAMABAD, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- At least 31 people were killed and some 60 others injured when a suicide bomber hit a pro- government elder's funeral in Pakistan's northwest district of Lower Dir on Thursday, reported local Urdu TV channel DAWN.

Pakistan Taliban claimed Thursday evening responsibility for the attack. Taliban militants have in the past carried out similar suicide attacks on funerals for pro-government tribal elders and police officers.

In April, a Taliban suicide bomber attacked a funeral for the wife of a pro-government tribal leader near Peshawar and it killed over 30 people and injured many others.

The report quoted police sources as saying that a suicide bomber blew himself up among hundreds of people attending the funeral in the Sadberg Village in the Jandol area of Lower Dir District in northwest Pakistan on Thursday afternoon.

The funeral was held for an elder named Malik Sultan in the village which is located close to the Afghanistan border. The people living in the village belong to Mashwani tribe who have always been supporting the government in the fight against the militants.

Many civil militiamen leaders participated in the funeral and the target is obviously them who are leading the local people in the fight against the militants, said the report.

All the injured people have been shifted to the local Timargara hospital following the attack. Hospital sources said that some of the injured people were still in critical condition.

So far there is no further information about the identity of the suicide bomber.

As the village is located in the deep mountainous area far away from anywhere, there is scanty information about the blast details. No footage of the blast scene has been shown by local TV channels.

Both Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani condemned the suicide blast shortly after the incident was reported.

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