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Suicide Bombing Targets Government Office In Northwest Pakistan

  • RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal

Pakistani police say a suicide bombing targeted a government office in the northwestern city of Mardan, killing at least 21 people.

Mardan police officials told RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal on December 29 that the blast wounded at least 50 people, 12 of them critically.

Saeed Wazir, deputy inspector general of police for Mardan district, told RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal on December 29 that another 28 people were wounded in the blast.

He said the attack took place outside the regional office of the National Database and Registration Authority, which issues identity cards to Pakistanis.

According to police and eyewitnesses, the bomber tried to enter the building and his suicide vest went off when security officers were searching him at the entrance.

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A breakaway faction of Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has taken responsibility for the attack in a statement sent to Radio Mashaal. The group, Jamat ul Ahrar, threatened to launch more attacks against Pakistani offices.

Mardan is about 50 kilometers northwest of Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan.

With reporting by AP, AFP and Reuters