Suicide bombing kills 36 mourners at Pakistan funeral (Third Lead, Changing dateline)

March 9th, 2011 - 6:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Peshawar, March 9 (IANS) Terror struck Pakistan again Wednesday when 36 mourners gathered for a funeral were killed in a suicide bombing in a village near this town.

At least 50 people in the gathering in Adezai village, about 20 km from this capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, were injured. The suicide bomber mingled in the crowd that was attending the funeral of the wife of an anti-Taliban elder and triggered the massive explosion at about 11 a.m., just as prayers had begun.

Blood soaked caps, shoes and clothes were littered on the ground as the wounded cried out in agony.

“People had gathered and had just started praying when a boy walked in and blew himself up,” Mohammad Eman, a survivor, told Geo News.

Another witness said the blast threw him to the ground. “When I got up I saw there were bodies lying everywhere.”

Siraj Ahmed, an official, said the suicide bomber was targeting members of the anti-Taliban militia.

Rahim Jan, medical officer at Peshawar’s Lady Reading Hospital, said 36 people were dead while 52 injured. “Some bodies are beyond recognition”, DPA reported.

Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack.

“We will carry out attacks wherever there is a lashkar (tribal militia) operating against us,” Taliban spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan told reporters in Peshawar by phone from an undisclosed location.

Farman Ullah, a senior commander of tribal militia, said such “terrorist attacks” would not shake their resolve.

“We will keep on fighting against these people who are worse than animals,” DPA qouted him as saying.

The several pro-government tribal groups in the area are often targeted by armed Taliban insurgents.

The deadly blast follows Tuesday’s car-bomb attack in the central city of Faisalabad that killed 25 people and wounding around 125. Responsibility for that attack was claimed by the Taliban.

The Pakistani army says its battle against insurgents has weakened Taliban and Al Qaeda forces. But the groups continue to use bombs to attack civilian targets.

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