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29 killed, 57 injured in suicide blast in NW Pakistan


07:47, June 19, 2013

ISLAMABAD, June 18 (Xinhua) -- At least 29 people including a member of provincial assembly were killed and 57 others injured in a bomb blast that targeted a funeral gathering in Pakistan's northwestern district of Mardan on Tuesday, local media and officials said.

According to regional police chief Jaffar Khan, the incident took place when a suicide bomber exploded his explosives-laden jacket amid the funeral gathering in the Shergarh Village of Mardan, a district in the country's northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Provincial Information Minister Shaukat Yousafzai told media that at least 29 people were killed including Imran Mohmand, a member of the provincial assembly, and 57 others injured in the bomb attack.

Police, security forces and rescue teams rushed to the site and shifted the bodies and injured to the Mardan Medical Complex hospital.

The persons who were in critical condition had been shifted to the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, the capital of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.

Police Chief Khan said that the nature of the blast was suicide and around 10 kilogram explosives was used in the blast.

"It seems that the attacker's target was the member of the provincial assembly because the suicide bomber reached near him and then exploded his jacket," said the police chief.

According to an eyewitness, over 500 people were present to attend the funeral prayer of a well-known local elder who was shot dead by unknown people on Monday night.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Asif Ali Zardari condemned the attack and asked the authorities to provide best medical treatment to the injured.

No group or militant organization has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

On Saturday, at least 14 female students were killed and 16 others injured when a blast hit a bus near a women-only university in Pakistan's southwestern provincial capital of Quetta.

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