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Bombers kill 62 in Pakistan


Bombers kill 62 in Pakistan

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PESHAWAR, Pakistan – A pair of suicide bombings killed 62 people yesterday outside a government office in a region along the Afghan border where the Pakistani army and United States missiles have had some success in decreasing the number of such attacks.The assault, which wounded at least 111 people, was one of the deadliest in Pakistan this year. There was speculation that the bombers were targeting anti-Taliban tribal elders visiting the government office in the village of Yakaghund, part of the Mohmand tribal area in the country’s northwest.The attackers struck within seconds of each other as two United States senators met with Pakistani leaders in the capital, Islamabad, to discuss their countries’ cooperation in the fight against terrorism, much of it being waged in the lawless tribal belt bordering Afghanistan where al-Qaeda and the Taliban have long had redoubts.One of the bombs appeared fairly small but the other was huge, officials said. At least one bomber was on a motorcycle.The bombers detonated their explosives near the office of Rasool Khan, a deputy Mohmand administrator who escaped unharmed. The tribal elders, including those involved in setting up militias to fight the Taliban, were in the building, but none was hurt, according to Mohmand chief administrator Amjad Ali Khan.Video footage showed dozens of men searching through piles of yellow brick and mud rubble for survivors. Women and children were among the victims.Abdul Wadood, 19, was sitting in a vehicle at the time of the bombings.“I only heard the deafening blast and lost consciousness,” said Wawood, who was being treated for head and arm wounds in Peshawar, the main city in the northwest, about 15 miles away. “I found myself on a hospital bed after opening my eyes. I think those who planned or carried out this attack are not humans.”About 70 to 80 shops were damaged or destroyed, while damage to a prison building allowed 28 prisoners – ordinary criminals, not militants – to flee, said Rasool Khan, who gave the casualty figures.Near the attack site, officials had been distributing wheelchairs to disabled people and equipment to poor farmers, Amjad Ali Khan said. It was unclear how many participants in that event were among the victims. (AP)