Thu September 15, 2011
Bomb Explodes At Funeral In Pakistan
Originally published on Thu September 15, 2011 2:15 pm
At least 31 people, including three children, were killed Thursday in an attack at a funeral service in a Pakistani village near the Afghan border; 75 others were wounded.
According to Police Chief Saleem Khan, a suicide bomber walked up to the crowd of about 200 mourners in the northwest village of Lower Dir and detonated his explosives.
Police say the funeral was for Bakhat Khan, a member of the Mashwani tribe, which is reputed to be rabidly anti-Taliban. Residents near the scene of the bombing have raised volunteer militias against the Taliban.
Most of the people killed in the attack were from the tribe, whose members reside in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. The tribe's chief, who reportedly held great influence on both sides of the border, was killed in a suicide attack in the Afghan province of Kunar in April.
Recent cross-border raids into Lower Dir by militants who have found sanctuary in Afghanistan have aggravated tensions between the two countries.
Earlier this week, Taliban gunmen killed four children as they were returning from school near the main northwestern city of Peshawar. The insurgents said the attack was aimed at locals who support a tribal militia fighting the Taliban.
There was no claim of responsibility for Thursday's attack.
NPR's Julie McCarthy contributed to this report, which contains material from The Associated Press.