Toll mounts to 41 in Pak blast

PESHAWAR: Forty-one people, most of them civilians, were killed Monday when a suicide attacker struck a military convoy near a busy market in northwest Pakistan, the provincial minister said.

The bomber targeted the convoy as it passed through a security checkpost near a crowded bazaar in Alpuri town in Shangla, a district neighbouring Swat valley and the target of a recent anti-Taliban offensive.

"Forty-one people were killed and 45 were injured in the suicide blast," said Mian Iftekhar Hussain, the information minister for the troubled North West Frontier Province. "Twelve of the injured are in serious condition."

He said six of the dead were soldiers, although the army-run Swat Media Centre earlier put the military death toll at four.