Many dead in Pakistan bomb blast

At least 23 people have died in north-western Pakistan in a car bomb attack at 
a school being used as a polling station, police say.

The bomb went off during a by-election in the district of Buner, on the edge of 
the restive Swat valley.

The bomb destroyed the school, trapping people under the rubble. Two police 
were among the dead and a dozen hurt.

A Taleban spokesman told the BBC they carried out the attack in retaliation for 
an attack on their fighters.

Six militants were shot dead a few months ago when the local residents turned 
against the Taleban, in what correspondents say was one of the first incidents 
of villagers turning against the Taleban in the region.

'Maximum people'

Police said the school was being used as a polling station for a by-election 
for a parliamentary seat. Voting was suspended after the attack.

"The suicide attacker pulled his car outside the polling station, and asked 
people to push the vehicle, saying that it had broken down," North West 
Frontier information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain told the Associated Press.

"His purpose was to gather the maximum people around the car. The moment people 
started pushing the car, he blew it up."

Security forces have been fighting militants in the Swat valley, formerly a 
popular tourist destination, since last year.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2008/12/28 12:04:56 GMT


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