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Bomber targets mourners at Pakistan funeral; 29 dead

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By The Associated Press
Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 9:45 p.m.
 

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — A suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowd of hundreds of mourners attending a funeral on Tuesday in northwestern Pakistan, killing 29 people. Among the dead was a newly elected lawmaker who may have been the target, authorities said.

The blast was the deadliest attack in the region since May 11 national and regional elections installed a new government in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakh-tunkhwa.

The carnage poses a challenge for cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, whose party won the provincial election there on a platform of negotiating with the Pakistani Taliban to bring an end to the years of fighting and attacks there.

The bombing in the village of Sher Garh near the city of Mardan killed 29 people and wounded at least 57, said a senior police officer in Mardan, Tahir Ayub Khan.

Pakistani TV channels showed footage of the bombing scene, splashed with blood and scattered body parts, as many of the survivors scrambled to get away. Local residents comforted the families of the victims as they cried out in anguish and beat their chests.

“Are you Muslim?” screamed an eyewitness, Nisar Khan, addressing the attackers. “Are you animals? Are you beasts?”

Many of the wounded were taken to hospitals in the provincial capital of Peshawar, about 40 miles away.

The lawmaker, Imran Khan Mohmand, ran in Pakistan's May 11 elections as an independent candidate and later supported the party of Imran Khan, the ex-cricketer.

He was the second provincial lawmaker affiliated with the party to be killed since the election. The other lawmaker, also an independent who later joined Khan's party, was fatally shot this month.

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