PESHAWAR: A suicide bomber killed 38 people and wounded scores more at a celebration organised by the leading secular political party in northwest Pakistan today, police said.
The suicide bomber attacked the open-air gathering in Timargarah, the main town in the district of Lower Dir, where Pakistan waged a major offensive against local Taliban insurgents last year.
“We have received 38 bodies,” Doctor Wakeel Ahmed, head of the main hospital in Timargarah told AFP. There are more than 100 injured.
Timargarah police chief Mumtaz Zareen told AFP that it was a suicide attack, adding: “The man came on foot and detonated himself.”
The Awami National Party, the secular political party that dominates
government in North West Frontier Province organised the meeting to celebrate plans to rename the province Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
“Our party had arranged a thanksgiving day to celebrate the changing of the name
after 200 years of
colonial legacy,” ANP spokesman Zahid Khan told Pakistan’s private Geo television.
Suspected Taliban armed with petrol
bombs and rockets attacked a terminal in
the tribal district of
Khyber before dawn, torching eight tankers used to supply fuel to NATO forces in Afghanistan, officials said. The district is part of Pakistan’s lawless tribal belt along the Afghan border that Washington calls the most dangerous region on Earth, a global headquarters of Al-Qaeda and a launch pad for attacks on NATO troops.