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Pak market blast toll touches 17

world Updated: Jan 31, 2010 14:31 IST

PTI
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The toll in a suicide attack in a packed market in Pakistan's tribal belt has risen to 17, amid reports that the bombing may have been carried out by a woman.

The suicide bombing occurred yesterday near a check post manned by paramilitary soldiers in the main market of Khar, the headquarters of Bajaur tribal region.

Initial reports put the death toll at 12 though officials later said that 17 people were killed and 47 others injured.

Some officials were quoted by 'Dawn' newspaper as saying that the limbs and shoes found at the site of the blast had "indicated that the bomber was a woman."

The officials added that police were "yet to arrive at a conclusion."

There was also no official word on this issue.

There have been no instances of women being involved in the scores of suicide bombings witnessed across Pakistan over the past three years.

Though initial reports following a suicide attack in Peshawar last year had suggested that a woman was involved, it was later established by investigation that she was merely a passer-by who was killed by the blast.

Three paramilitary personnel were among those killed in yesterday's attack.

The bomber detonated an explosive jacket on being stooped by security personnel at the check post.