Suicide bomber kills eight in Pakistan

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The Independent Online

A suicide bomber blew himself up him in a market in north-west Pakistan today, killing at least eight people.

The blast took place close to Pakistan's border regions with Afghanistan, where Islamist militants are strong.

City police chief Dilawar Khan Bangash said several people were wounded. State-run TV put the death toll at 12.

The target of the blast was unclear. The market was close to a bus station where people were gathering to return home to the border region.

Islamist militants seeking to overthrow Pakistan's broadly pro-Western government have carried out scores of bombings in recent years, mostly against Western or government targets. The army has responded with offensives in some parts of the north west.

Health officials later raised the death toll to 15.

Shad Ali, a doctor who heads the health administration in the town of Kohat, said 15 were killed and 25 injured.

The attack came two days after 50 people were killed in two blasts at a government compound in Mohmand, also in the border area.

A spokesman for the Pakistan Taliban, the main militant group in the north west, has claimed responsibility for that attack.