38 people die in suicide attack during political rally in Pakistan

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Monday, April 5, 2010

38 people were said to have died in a suicide bombing during a political rally in the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan. The attack occurred in the town of Timergarah in north east Pakistan.

The incident occurred during a political rally by the leading local party. The attacker detonated a bomb, thereby blowing himself in Timargarah, 80 km (50 miles) northeast of the provincial capital, Peshawar, the principal town in the Lower Dir district. Pakistani security forces led a major operation against the Taliban in this region.

According to residents, the bomb exploded near the stage built for the organized celebrations. Police authorities confirmed it was a suicide bombing.

"We have received 38 dead bodies," Doctor Wakeel Ahmed, head of the principal hospital in the town told AFP (Agence France-Presse) news agency. "There are more than 100 injured. Most of them are in a serious condition. I'm still sending out my ambulance," he added.

Mumtaz Zareen, Timargarah police chief, told AFP news agency that the attack was a suicide bombing; according to him, "the man came on foot and detonated himself."

The Awami National Party (ANP), the predominant political party in North West Frontier Province had organized the celebrations because of their decision to rename the province to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. "Our party had arranged a thanksgiving day to celebrate the changing of the name after 200 years of colonial legacy," he said to a private news agency.

According to Haji Mohammad Adeel of ANP, the Talibans had "lost the battle" and were executing such "cowardly" attacks "out of desperation." This attack was followed by a triple attack in Peshawar by suspected Islamist insurgents.