March 11, 2012 / 8:14 AM / 8 years ago

Blast at funeral in Pakistan kills 13

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - A suspected suicide bomber killed at least 13 people and wounded 31 in an attack on a funeral on the outskirts of the north-western Pakistan city of Peshawar on Sunday, a police official said.

The deputy speaker of the provincial assembly, Khushdil Khan, was at the funeral, but he was unharmed.

“It seemed to be a suicide attack,” the police official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “And the target is believed to be Khushdil Khan.”

Khushdil is a leader in the Awami National Party (ANP), the dominant political party in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, and has raised a tribal militia to battle militants in his area.

The blast occurred as people gathered around the grave of a local woman.

“It was a suicide attack,” said victim Rahim Gul from his bed at the trauma centre of the Lady Reading Hospital, where many of the injured were taken. “There were pieces of human bodies and people were crying (because) of injuries.”

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but government officials quickly blamed the Pakistan Taliban, who have long targeted the ANP.

“How is attacking a funeral Islamic in any way?” Asfanyar Wali Khan, head of the ANP, told reporters in Islamabad.

“I say that these people aren’t Islam’s followers,” he added. “I don’t even consider them human.”

Additional reporting by Mahawish Rezvi in Islamabad; Writing by Chris Allbritton; Editing by Daniel Magnowski

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