Deadly market bombing near Pakistan′s border with Afghanistan | News | DW | 04.05.2012
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Deadly market bombing near Pakistan's border with Afghanistan

A bomb attack near Pakistan's border with Afghanistan has killed more than a dozen people. Officials had feared revenge attacks to coincide with the first anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden by US forces.

At least 16 people have been killed in a bombing in a market in the town of Khar, near Pakistan's border with Afghanistan.

Five of those killed were members of the local security forces. Among them were a police chief and his deputy.

Officials quoted by the AFP news agency said the explosion was caused by a teenage suicide bomber.

"Apparently, the bomber was waiting for the head of police, and he rushed and jumped towards him when he was talking to other policemen at a checkpost," Islam Zep the administrative chief of Bajaur district said.

The rest of the casualties were passers-by, according to local officials.

Hospital officials said the death toll could rise, as many of the dozens of others wounded in the blast were in a critical condition.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but local authorities said they suspected the Pakistani Taliban or allied groups were behind the attack. It was the worst to hit the country since March 2, when at least 22 people were killed in a suicide attack on a mosque in Khyber district.

The bombing came two days after the country's security forces were placed on a heightened state of alert due to fears of revenge attacks to mark the one-year anniversary of the killing of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden by US special forces.

pfd/rg (AFP, AP)