34 killed, over 50 injured in Pakistan blast (Second Lead)

December 28th, 2008 - 10:41 pm ICT by IANS  

TalibanIslamabad, Dec 28 (IANS) Thirty-four people, including women and children, were killed and over 50 other people injured Sunday in a suicide car bomb blast at a polling station in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province (NWFP).The blast took place at the polling station during by-elections in Buner district in NWFP, which is hit by the Taliban campaign for enforcement of Islamic laws.

The explosion destroyed a school in Buner town located on the edge of the restive Swat Valley, where voters were casting ballots in a parliamentary by-election. It caused the collapse of a nearby market, television reports said.

The police sources said that the suicide bomber blew himself up at the polling station located in a school in Shalbandai in Buner area.

Ten people died instantaneously. The death toll continued to rise as more bodies were retrieved from the debris. The total mounted to 34 dead.

The Election Commission said that polling has been suspended in the wake of suicide attack and the staff has been called back as a precautionary step.

Hospital sources told that over 30 bodies were brought to Dagar Hospital, while the injured were taken to the hospital for medical aid.

Relief and rescue operation continued. Officials feared the death toll may rise when the clearing of debris nears completion.

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, President Asif Ali Zardari and the interior minister, while strongly condemning the dastardly attack, expressed their deep sympathies at the loss of lives.

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