Suicide Bomber Kills at Least 23 in Northwest Pakistan

  • Most of the 42 injured are in serious condition, officials say
  • Attackers are `enemies of humanity,' Imran Khan says

A bomb victim was transported from the hospital in Mardan on Dec. 29.

Photographer: A Majeed/AFP/Getty Images

At least 23 people were killed and 42 injured in a blast outside a government office in northwestern Pakistan, one of the deadliest suicide attacks in the nation this year.

The toll may rise as most of the injured are in serious condition. The death toll was confirmed by Ramzan Chaudhary, spokesman for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province’s health minister, Shahram Tarakai. A security guard stopped a biker near the gate, when he detonated the bomb, said Saeed Khan, deputy inspector general.

The attackers are “enemies of humanity,” the province’s ruling party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, wrote on Twitter, citing its chairman, Imran Khan.

All local hospitals have been put on alert after the blast on Tuesday outside the National Database and Registration Authority office in Mardan, where people had been queuing up for their national identity cards.

A militant group affiliated with the Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility, the Dawn newspaper reported on its website. It didn’t say where it got the information.

There were 19 suicide attacks in Pakistan this year through Dec. 20, according to the South Asia Terrorism Portal. Twenty-four people were killed and 50 injured when attackers opened fire and exploded bombs at a Shiite mosque in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in February.

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