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Up to 37 dead as "boy" bomber targets anti-Taliban mourners
Dozens of people were killed when a suicide bomber struck at a funeral attended by anti-Taliban fighters in northwestern Pakistan, reports said Wednesday.
According to witnesses, the bomber had been mingling with a 200-strong congregation mourning the death of the wife of an anti-Taliban militiaman in the village of Adezai near Peshawar, AFP reported.
"We have taken 37 dead bodies and 45 injured to the hospital," the agency quoted senior police officer Kalam Khan as saying. "The target of the bombing was members of the anti-Taliban militia."
The precise death toll was not known. Other reports put it at 36.
Some witnesses described the bomber as a "boy."
“People had gathered and had just started praying when a boywalked in and blew himself up,” survivor Mohammad Eman told a private television channel, according to the Dawn newspaper.
AP reported that thePakistani Taliban had claimed responsibility. It quoted spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan saying insurgents had targeted the militiamen because of their links to Pakistan's U.S.-allied government.
"We will carry out more such attacks if they did not stop their activities," he said.
The attack is only the latest in nationwide insurgency by Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants that have resisted successive government crackdowns on their bases in Pakistan's northwest.
On Tuesday at least 20 people were killed when the Taliban detonated a car bomb in the city of Faisalabad, Pakistan's third largest city. The militants claimed the attack was to avenge the death in custody of one their members, AP reported.
-- Barry Neild