Pakistan funeral attack death toll rises to 34

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 June, 2013, 1:41pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 June, 2013, 1:41pm

The death toll from a suicide attack at a funeral in Pakistan rose to 34 on Wednesday after seven victims died overnight in hospital, police said.

“The death toll has risen to 34, seven more critically injured have died in hospital,” police official Tahir Ayub told AFP.

Another 43 people are still being treated for injuries in hospital after Tuesday’s attack in Shergarh town in Mardan district, 145 kilometres (90 miles) northwest of Islamabad.

The bomber struck as mourners gathered for funeral prayers for the owner of a local fuel station.

There has been no claim of responsibility but police say the target was Imran Khan Mohmand, an independent lawmaker in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial assembly who won a seat in elections last month.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is on the frontline of a seven-year Taliban insurgency and borders the semi-autonomous tribal belt, where US drone strikes target Taliban and Al-Qaeda operatives.

Washington considers the tribal areas a major hub of Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants plotting attacks on the West and in Afghanistan.

Tackling homegrown Islamist militancy is one of the major tasks for Pakistan’s new government, which was sworn in earlier this month after the elections.

More than 6,000 people have died in attacks in Pakistan in the last six years according to an AFP tally.

Tuesday’s attack is the deadliest since a bombing in a Shiite Muslim area of Karachi on March 3 killed 50 people.