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Mardan blast death toll rises to 34

PESHAWAR (AFP) – A suicide bombing at a funeral in Pakistan on Tuesday killed at least 34 people including a provincial lawmaker, police said, the deadliest attack to hit the country in more than three months.

 

The attack in Shergarh town in Mardan district, 145 kilometres (90 miles) northwest of Islamabad, came during prayers for the owner of a local fuel station.

 

Police said the politician appeared to be the target of the blast, which highlights the security challenges facing the new government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, sworn in earlier this month after winning the May 11 general election.

 

Local police chief Tahir Ayub told AFP “at least 34 people were killed and 52 others wounded in the blast” and that it was a suicide attack.

 

Another local police official, Jaffer Khan, confirmed the toll.

 

“The bomber came on foot and blew himself up near Imran Khan Mohmand, who seems to have been the target,” Khan told AFP.

 

Mohmand was elected last month to the provincial assembly in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where former cricketer Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf party heads the new coalition government.

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