Suicide Bomber Kills 42 at Pakistani Peace Conference
Thousands of people were at the peace meeting when a suicide bomber blew himself up in Pakistan.
A wounded man is treated at a hospital in Peshawar, after a suicide attack in northwestern Pakistan March 2, 2008. At least 39 people were killed and scores more injured when a suicide bomber attacked a traditional tribal meeting in northwestern Pakistan on Sunday, officials said. (REUTERS/Ali Imam)
A suicide bomber blew himself up Sunday at a large meeting called by tribal elders pushing for peace in northwestern Pakistan, killing at least 40 people and injuring more than 100, witnesses and officials said.
It was the third suicide bombing in as many days in the volatile northwest, where security forces were battling pro-Taliban Islamic militants.
Thousands of people were at the meeting in Darra Adam Khel in North West Frontier Province about 25 miles south of the provincial capital, Peshawar. The five tribes involved wanted to finalize a resolution calling for punishing anyone who sheltered or helped militants, including those of al-Qaida and the Taliban, Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema said on state-run Pakistan Television.
Local officials found the severed head of the suspected suicide bomber, Dawn reported:
A powerful blast hit a tribal peace jirga near the Zarghunkhel checkpost in Darra Adamkhel on Sunday, killing at least 42 people and wounding another 58.
The jirga of Zarghunkhel, Akhurwal, Sheraki, Bostikhel and Toor Chapper tribes had been convened to discuss the formation of a Lashkar to drive militants out of the area, sources said.
It was not clear if the blast was the work of a suicide bomber, but local officials said that a teenager had detonated explosives just after the meeting had ended.
A severed head was found at the site and the officials believed it was that of the bomber. Some people identified the teenager as a youth from the Sheraki area of Darra, a hub of militants.