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34 Pakistanis Killed in Mardan Funeral Blast Targeting Government Officials

Death toll of Pakistan's Mardan funeral blast rises to 34

ISLAMABAD, June 19, 2013 (Xinhua) --

Death toll of Tuesday's suicide blast in Pakistan's northwest Mardan district has risen to 34 from 29 as five more people succumbed to injuries on Wednesday, said local officials.

Talking to media on Tuesday, Shaukat Yousuf Zai, information minister of the country's northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in which Mardan is a district, said that a suicide bomber walked into the funeral of a local business man and exploded himself near a local lawmaker, killing himself and 14 others right on the spot and injuring dozens.

The injured people were shifted to Mardan Medical Complex where 15 people breathed their last on Tuesday and five more succumbed to injuries on Wednesday. Hospital sources said that there are still 58 injured people remaining in different hospitals of Mardan and Peshawar and several of them are said to be still in critical condition.

Police said that the suicide bomber, who seemed a Uzbek national from his built and looks, was carrying about six to eight kg of explosive materials in his suicide vest and his target was a local lawmaker Imran Mohamand.

Mohamand, who won the provincial assembly seat as an independent candidate in the recent elections but later joined cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf ( PTI) or Justice for Movement, was laid to rest in his family cemetery on Wednesday morning.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Police of Mardan Mohammad Jaffar said that the killed people include two policemen who were providing security to Mohamand and a lieutenant colonel of the Pakistan army who was attending the funeral.

He said that the blast occurred when a large number of local elders were gathering in a cemetery to attend the funeral prayer for Haji Abdullah, a fuel-station owner who was shot dead by unknown gunmen on Monday night.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and PTI Chairman Imran Khan and other political leaders condemned the suicide blast and expressed condolence to the bereaved families.

Zardari called the concerned medical authorities to provide the best medical treatment to the injured people.

The provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa announced a compensation of 300,000 rupees (3,000 U.S. dollars) and 100,000 rupees (1,000 U.S. dollars) each for the killed and injured respectively.

Editor: Wang Yuanyuan

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