Five killed in Pakistan suicide bomb attack

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A suicide bomber blew himself up as he was being searched at a political rally in north-western Pakistan today, killing five people, officials said.

The rally was organised by Ameer Muqam, a senior member of the Pakistan Muslim League-Q party, but he had not yet arrived when the blast went off.

"Such attacks are deplorable, but they cannot deter us from public service," Mr Muqam said after the blast.

The bomber detonated his explosives as he was being searched at the entrance to the rally, said Khalid Umerzai, the top official in Batgram district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where the attack occurred.

The five dead were two police officials, a young girl and two other men, said Mahboobur Rehman, the top official at Batgram hospital. Another 20 people were injured, he said.

No group immediately claimed responsibility, but the Pakistani Taliban have often targeted Pakistani officials and security forces in their quest to topple the US-allied government in Pakistan.