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Suicide bomber kills 10: police

world Updated: Mar 30, 2011 17:01 IST

A suicide bomber on a motorbike blew himself up near a police checkpoint in Pakistan on Wednesday, killing ten people and wounding more than 20, police and hospital officials said.

Police chief Abdullah Jan said the checkpoint was close to a camp set up by a religious political party for a public meeting in the northwestern town of Swabi, about 10 kilometres (60 miles) east of Peshawar.

"Seven people died on the spot and three more succumbed to their injuries in the hospital," he said. "We have recovered the body parts of the suicide bomber."

Nurul Wahid, the doctor in charge of the emergency ward at the state-run Swabi hospital, confirmed the toll. "We have 10 bodies. The dead included two policemen also," he said. A total of 21 people were receiving treatment, Wahid added.

The meeting was planned by the hardline Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) party led by Maulana Fazlur Rehman. The event was cancelled after the bombing.

Rehman was on his way to the venue when the blast happened, party spokesman Jalil Jan said.

"He is safe and the meeting has been cancelled," Jan said. "We can't immediately identify the attackers. We don't know who is involved. But we can say the target appears to be the JUI leadership.

"Six party supporters were martyred and seven wounded," he said.

Police official Hayatullah Khan said Rehman's convoy was set to enter the town when the blast hit.

"We were lined up and party members came out from a nearby reception camp. Suddenly there was a huge blast amid welcome slogans by party workers. Shrapnel hit me and I received injuries to my head and leg," he said.

The northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhawa province bordering Afghanistan has frequently been the target of militant violence.

More than 4,000 people have died in suicide and bomb attacks throughout Pakistan since government forces launched an offensive against militants in a mosque in Islamabad in 2007.

Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants launch almost daily attacks across northwest Pakistan and the tribal belt that Washington has branded the most dangerous place on Earth.