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Afghanistan-Pakistan

Pakistan's first female suicide bomber kills dozens

Reuters/Fayaz Aziz

More than 40 people have been killed on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan in what is believed to be the first suicide bombing by a female in Pakistan. The attack took place at a United Nations food distribution centre in Bajaur, a region where the Pakistani military has twice declared victory against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

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The attack follows an especially bloody day for coalition troops, when 11 soldiers died after an attack by over 150 insurgents.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks, but they are currently being attributed to the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

The alleged attacker, wearing a burqa, threw two hand grenades into a queue of people waiting for aid from the World Food Programme before detonating a bomb vest. More than 60 people were wounded in the explosion.

A local official said an examination of the remains confirms that the bomber was a woman. However, the burqa has been used as a disguise by male attackers, and bombers initially identified as men have later had their gender revised.

The region of Bajaur borders Afghanistan and is located at the northern edge of Pakistan's semi-autonomous tribal belt. The US has claimed the area is a major haven for guerrillas fighting NATO and US troops in Afghanistan.

Some 4,000 people have died across Pakistan since government forces attacked a mosque in Islamabad in 2007.

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