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15 Killed in Pakistan Funeral Blast


A police officer and local residents examine a parked car damaged in a suicide bombing at a funeral on the outskirts of Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, March 11, 2012.

A police officer and local residents examine a parked car damaged in a suicide bombing at a funeral on the outskirts of Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, March 11, 2012.

A suicide bomber blew himself up at a funeral attended by an anti-Taliban politician in northwest Pakistan Sunday, killing at least 15 mourners and wounding more than 30 others.

Police say the politician, Khushdil Khan, escaped unharmed in the blast on the outskirts of Peshawar, the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

A Pakistani Taliban faction claimed responsibility for the Sunday bombing.

Khan is a member of the secular-leaning Awami National Party, and has launched a campaign against the militant groups in the region.

Local police officer Abid Rehman says the incident is part of the violent conflict between Pakistani security forces and Islamist militants in the region. "You know the situation here; the operation is ongoing in the KPK (Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa region) and other parts of the country against the militants and the terrorists. It was a suicide attack and it's a chain of the past activities of the terrorists," he said.

The incident came a day after Pakistani security forces claimed to have killed 39 militants in a security operation in the Bara district in the Khyber tribal region near Peshawar. Pakistani security forces are engaged in anti-Taliban operations in the lawless region along the Afghan border.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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