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12 Killed, 24 Injured In Suicide Blast In Pakistan

PTI 30 Jan 2010, 17:25:02 IST

A suicide attacker blew himself up in a crowded market in Pakistan s Bajaur tribal region, killing at least 12 people and injuring 24 others.  The bomber detonated his explosives when he was stopped by security personnel at a check post in the main market of Khar, the headquarters of Bajaur Agency, witnesses said. 

Local officials said 12 people, including two security personnel, were killed in the attack. Twenty-four others, including several security personnel, were injured. 

Officials said the toll could rise as the market was crowded at the time of the attack. There were also reports of firing following the blast.   However, it was not clear who had opened fire. The bomber was aged between 18 and 23 years and witnesses said his head and legs had been found. 

Personnel from the paramilitary Bajaur Levies and Bajaur Scouts were deployed at the check post in the market. The security forces cordoned off the area after the blast and launched a search operation.

The market closed down and authorities imposed curfew in Khar for an indefinite period. An emergency was declared in the hospitals in Khar and officials issued an appeal for people to donate blood for the injured.  Five seriously injured persons were taken to hospitals in Timergarha and Peshawar for treatment. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani strongly condemned the attack and expressed sorrow at the loss of lives.  He directed authorities to conduct an immediate inquiry into the incident. PTI