Central & South Asia
Explosions rock northwest Pakistan
At least 12 killed in attack at rally in Timargarah before reports of blasts in Peshawar.
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2010 08:45 GMT
 Pakistan is often hit by attacks targeting political and security forces targets [EPA]

At least 12 people have been killed and 30 others wounded in a suspected suicide attack at a political rally in the northwest of Pakistan, police have said.

Hundreds of people were gathered for a rally of an ethnic Pashtun nationalist political party when Monday's attack took place in the town of Timargarah in Lower Dir district.

Zahid Khan, a spokesman for the Awami National Party, said his party was celebrating the recent decision to change the name of North West Frontier Province,  
which dates back to British colonial rule, to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in a nod to its Pashtun-majority population, when the attack occurred.

Shortly afterwards, a powerful explosion rocked the northwest's main city of Peshawar.

There were no immediate details of casualties or the target after the explosion.

Kamal Hyder, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Islamabad, said the political rally appeared to have been the target of the Lower Dir attack.

"There have been a series of attacks against the party, which is in government in the province," he said.

"This is an ongoing thing, although this is a clear warning. Recently the Taliban said there would be more attacks there. So some kind of escalation was expected."

Al Jazeera and agencies
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