PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- Pakistani medical authorities say 15 people died after a suicide bomber attacked a funeral attended by an anti-Taliban politician on the outskirts of Peshawar in northwest Pakistan.
Rahim Jan, head of the local Lady Reading Hospital, confirmed the casualties, telling reporters, "We received nine bodies from the blast site and six died later in the hospital."
He said many of the wounded were in serious condition.
Police say the politician, Khush Dil Khan from the secular-leaning Awami National Party, escaped unhurt in the blast in Badha Bera village.
The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan group has accepted responsibility for the attack.
Witnesses described a scene of horror at the funeral after the suicide attacker, who managed to get inside the compound where funeral prayers were being held, exploded his bomb.
"I picked up a passenger and was taking him to Bedabhera. As I entered the village, I heard a bomb blast," Irfan Ullah, a taxi driver, told Radio Mashaal. "All of the people were running in panic. When I reached the scene I saw pieces of shattered human bodies. Meanwhile, there was a rumor of another suicide attack, so all the people fled. We left the dead bodies behind."
The suicide bombing came a day after security officials said Pakistani troops, backed by helicopter gunships, had killed 39 militants during a search operation near the town of Bara in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province on the Afghan border.
Bara is considered a stronghold of local warlord Mangal Bagh, who is linked to Islamist militants.
Peshawar has a population of 2.5 million people and has long been on the front line of violence blamed on an insurgency led by Taliban militants opposed to Islamabad's alliance with the United States.
With AP reports