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Central & South Asia
Suicide bomber kills Pakistani MP
Attacker targets Eid party at politician's home in Swat valley, wounding dozens of people.
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2009 21:20 GMT
Thousands of troops have been fighting the Taliban in Swat, Lower Dir and Buner districts of NWFP [AFP]

A teenage suicide bomber has killed a provincial politician as he received guests at his home in Pakistan's northwest Swat valley.

A man with explosives strapped to his body walked unchallenged into the grounds of the house of Shamsher Ali Khan, a provincial assembly member, and blew himself up.

More than a dozen people were wounded in Tuesday's attack in Kanju town, in Swat valley, police said.

Khan, 59, was a member of the Awami National Party, part of a coalition that rules the North West Frontier Province (NWFP).

Police said two of his brothers were wounded in the attack, one critically.

Taliban offensive

The attacker struck as guests gathered to mark the end of the Muslim holy festival of Eid al-Adha, and the force of the blast damaged parts of the house and grounds.

In depth

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Blood stains could be seen marking the building, witnesses said.

"People were coming to exchange Eid greetings with him when a man came and blew himself up," Farooq Khan, the MP's relative, said.

Spin Zada, a doctor at a local government hospital, confirmed that the bodies of Khan and the bomber were brought to the hospital.

The attack that killed Khan occurred in a village that was a former headquarters of Mullah Fazlullah, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban.

It came as Taliban fighters continue a wave of bombings avenging a military offensive against them.

The army launched the offensive in Swat in late April and says it has cleared most of the area, but it still faces pockets of resistance.

Pakistan is under growing US pressure to eliminate al-Qaeda-linked fighters on its soil, who are known to slip over the border into Afghanistan and attack Nato and US troops stationed there.

The military has said that more than 2,000 fighters have died in the offensive in Swat valley, about 120 km (80 miles) northwest of Islamabad, but figures are impossible to confirm as access to the region is limited.

Source:
Agencies
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