Suicide bombing at volleyball match kills 95 in Pakistan

Suicide bombing at volleyball match kills 95 in Pakistan

Pakistani medical staff attend to a man injured in a suicide bombing at a local hospital in Bannu, Pakistan. A suicide bomber set off an explosives-laden vehicle on a field during a volleyball tournament on Friday in northwest Pakistan, killing scores of people and wounding dozens, police said. (AP)

More than 100 people were injured in Friday's attack, which took place at a volleyball match in Shah Hassan Khan village, some 30 km south of Lakki Marwat town. Mohammad Ayub Khan, the district police chief, said the bomber detonated his explosives-laden car near the sporting field where hundreds of people had gathered to watch the match.

Pakistan's The Nation newspaper reported on Saturday morning that the death toll had risen to at least 95 people. Miian Iftikhar Hussain, the information minister in NWFP, said earlier that at least 50 people have died. Security forces blamed radical Islamistic extremists for the attack. No one has so far claimed responsibility.

Residents in Lakki Marwat said the suicide bombing may be retaliation for the local efforts to expel Taliban militants from the district. "Our people have successfully pushed Taliban out of the area and therefore we were receiving threats from the militants," said Mushtaq Marwat, a member of a local pro-government militia. He vowed not to be cowed by such "barbarian acts".

Marwat said the bombing also demolished eight houses and three nearby shops. The district is located near the semi-autonomous tribal district South Waziristan, where Pakistani troops have been conducting a major offensive against Islamist insurgents since mid-October, killing at least 600 militants. The insurgents have responded with frequent deadly attacks against civilian and official targets, killing around 600 people in the last 10 weeks.

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