Teenage suicide bomber kills 20 in PakistanAgence France-Presse . Khar, Pakistan
A teenage suicide bomber targeted police in a bustling Pakistan town square on Friday, killing at least 20 people and wounding dozens in the tribal area near the Afghan border, officials said.
Among the dead were the local chief and deputy of a tribal police force recruited by the government to help defeat the Taliban in the northwest.
The bomber, who intelligence officials said was aged 14 to 16, detonated explosives strapped to his chest in Khar, the main town of Bajaur district.
It was the deadliest bombing in Pakistan since March 2, when at least 22 people were killed by a suicide attack on a mosque in the tribal district of Khyber.
‘Twenty people, including five policemen, were killed and 46 others were wounded. Some shops and a restaurant were destroyed,’ Islam Zeb, the top official and administrative head of Bajaur tribal district, said.
It was the third bomb attack in two days in Bajaur, after twin blasts killed five people — including pro-government elders and security personnel — on Thursday.
Rescue workers pulled out at least four bodies from the collapsed debris of shops and a restaurant that caved in under the Bajaur blast, said administration official Mustafa Kamal.
‘Apparently, the bomber was waiting for the (local) head of police, and he rushed and jumped towards him when he was talking to other policemen at a checkpost,’ he said.
Doctor Habib Khan, head of the main hospital in Khar, warned that the toll could rise further after Friday’s attack because some of the wounded were in a critical condition.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. The attack came two days after Pakistan went on a high state of alert for the first anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s killing by American troops.
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