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Pakistan

Dozens dead in suicide attack on Pakistani relief camp

Reuters

Two suicide bombers blew themselves up in a crowd of people lining up for relief supplies at a displaced persons camp in northwest Pakistan Saturday, killing at least 41 people. Among the dead was a local television journalist who had received death threats from the Taliban, according to local media.

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Eyewitness said a person dressed as a woman, wearing a burka, planted a bomb in a crowd at the Kacha Pukha camp on the outskirts of Kohat. The camp is one of the main registration centres for people fleeing Taliban violence and displaced by Pakistani army operations in the tribal areas near the Afghan border.

In addition to the dozens dead, more than 60 people were wounded. Police say the death toll may rise.

Correspondent Beroz Khan, Peshawar, Pakistan.

Correspondent Behroz Kahn said the planted bomb went off at almost the same time as the attacker detonated a suicide bomb.

Displaced Shia- and Sunni-Muslims are separated into different camps, and Kacha Pukha is a centre for Shia-Muslims. A local television journalist, Azmat Ali Bangash, a Shia-Muslim, was killed in the attack.

Kahn says he had received death threats.

“Local journalists I spoke to said he had received threats from the Taliban that he is reporting one-sidedly, which is why he would be targeted,” he said, adding that a branch of an anti-Shia Muslim terror group linked to Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attacks.

“A militant group calling themselves Lashkar-i-Jhangvi al Alami, the international force of Jhangvi, a sectarian leader, they have accepted responsibility for the attack,” he said, explaining that the leader of the group called media in Peshawar.

“He gave threats that more such attacks would be carried out as well,” said Kahn.

Lashkar-i-Jhangvi claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing at a hospital in the southwestern city of Quetta on Friday, which killed 10 people.

“This is the first time the IDPs [Internally Displaced People] from the troubled areas… have been targeted,” said Kahn about Saturday’s attack.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced in the northwest and tribal belt. The United Nations estimates the number at 1.3 million people.

The latest military offensive aimed at flushing out armed Islamists has displaced at least 210,000 people from Orakzai and Kurram districts. Many of these people have registered in Kohat, as well as Hangu.

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