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Death toll rises to 40 after suicide attack at Pakistani funeral


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Death toll rises to 40 after suicide attack at Pakistani funeral

2011-09-17 00:17:31 GMT+7 (ICT)

PESHAWAR, PAKISTAN (BNO NEWS) -- The death toll after a suicide attack during a funeral ceremony in northern Pakistan on Thursday has risen to at least 40, police said on Friday afternoon.

The attack happened at around 3 p.m. local time on Thursday in the Jandol Smar Bagh area of Lower Dir, which is a district in Pakistan's tribal region in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. It happened during a funeral ceremony for Malik Safeer Khan, a local elder.

Lower Dir Police Chief Saleem Murrawat confirmed on Friday that the number of fatalities has risen to at least 40 while nearly 70 others have been injured, some of whom who remain in a critical condition. Officials fear the death toll could rise further.

According to a police official in the district, the suicide attacker went to the ceremony and blew himself up. The number of deaths has risen quickly as the initial death toll was placed at 21.

Both Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, who is currently in London, and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani immediately condemned the deadly attack, for which no group immediately claimed responsibility. Zardari termed the attack as an 'abhorrent act' and offered his condolences to the families of the victims.

Meanwhile, the provincial government announced that Rp 300,000 ($6,300) will be handed out in compensation to the relatives of each of the victims. In addition, Rp 100,000 ($2,100) will be given to each injured.

Last Tuesday, a group of gunmen attacked a school van on the outskirts of Peshawar near a place called Matni Bazar, also in Pakistan's Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province, killing at least six people, including five children and the driver of the van, which belonged to a private English-speaking school.

And last week, at least 23 people were killed and around 50 others were injured during two suicide bombings outside the residence of the DIG Frontier Corps (FC) near the Commissioner's Office in Quetta, which serves as the capital of Pakistan's Balochistan Province.

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-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2011-09-17

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