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Taliban suicide bomber hits police funeral in Pakistan

An attack on a police funeral in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta has killed dozens, many of them police officers paying respects to their colleague. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

A security official stands near a damaged vehicle at the site of a suicide bomb attack in Quetta August 8, 2013. (Photo via REUTERS/Naseer Ahmed)

Pakistan Quetta Anschlag

Thursday's attack took place at the funeral of a police officer shot dead in the troubled city of Quetta just hours before. At least 30 people were killed in the explosion and a further 55 people were wounded.

Police said that the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber. A bomb squad member said the perpetrator was wearing an explosive jacket packed with ball bearings and shrapnel.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in a city plagued by several different security threats. Quetta is the provincial capital of Baluchistan, home to separatist fighters as well as sectarian and Islamist militants.

The bomber successfully hit a high-security location, just outside a mosque at the city's police headquarters, in a Pakistani city with a particularly high police and military presence.

Most of the casualties were police officers, said the head of police operations in Baluchistan, Fayaz Sumbal, told the AP news agency.

The attack came on the evening when fasting ends after the holy month of Ramadan, prompting the start of the Eid al-Fitr festival that follows. Much of the Muslim world celebrated the end of fasting one evening earlier than Pakistan.

msh/dr (AFP, Reuters)