30 killed, dozens injured in Pakistan suicide bombing

March 2nd, 2008 - 6:11 pm ICT by admin  

Islamabad, March 2 (DPA) As many as 30 people were killed Sunday in a suicide bombing at a meeting of tribal leaders in northwest Pakistan, local media reports and officials said. The bomber blew himself up in a crowd of 1,000 people during a grand jirga (tribal assembly) in Darra Adam Khel in the North-West Frontier Province, near the country’s lawless tribal areas where Taliban and Al Qaeda militants are based.

DawnNews TV and Express News Channel reported that 30 people were killed and more than 50 injured, while Aaj reported that 25 died.

The jirga was being held among five tribes to sign an agreement to fight against Islamic militants in their area, a senior military official said.

Emergency medical teams were rushing the injured to hospitals in Darra Adam Khel, and the seriously wounded were being taken to the provincial capital Peshawar, reports said.

It was the third suicide bombing in the volatile northwest region in three days. On Friday, 42 people were killed when a bomber blew himself up at a funeral of a policeman in Mangora. Two people were killed and 20 injured Saturday in a suicide car bombing on a security convoy in the Bajaur tribal district.

In late January, Darra Adam Khel was the site of intense fighting between the Pakistani military and pro-Taliban militants who had seized a road tunnel and later four trucks carrying ammunition. Twenty-four militants and 13 soldiers were killed in the clashes.

Pakistan’s tribal areas are safe havens for armed Islamic groups, as well as Al Qaeda militants and Taliban fighters who have launched cross-border attacks on international forces into Afghanistan.

However, the militants have turned inward and launch regular attacks against Pakistani security forces and political figures.

Pakistan has suffered more than five dozen suicide attacks alone in the past 14 months that have killed more than 1,000 people in a campaign that escalated after army commandos stormed the Red Mosque in Islamabad in July 2007 to end a siege by armed militants. Hundreds of people were believed to have died in that attack.

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