At least 22 killed, 45 wounded after suicide blast in northwestern Pakistan

PESHAWAR, Pakistan - A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a government office in a northwestern Pakistani city on Tuesday, killing at least 22 people and wounding 45.

See Full Article

A breakaway Taliban group quickly claimed responsibility for the attack.

The bombing took place in the city of Mardan, outside the regional office of the National Database and Registration Authority, or NADRA, which issues identity cards to Pakistanis, according to senior police officer Saeed Khan Wazir.

Wazir told The Associated Press that some of the wounded were in a critical condition.

Shortly after the attack, a spokesman for the militant Jamaat-ul-Ahrar group, Ahsanullah Ahsan, claimed responsibility for the bombing, calling it a "noble act to punish NADRA because it extends support to security forces." Ahsan spoke to the AP by phone from an undisclosed location.

Jamaat-ul-Ahrar split from the main Pakistani Taliban group - the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP - two years ago following differences between the militant leadership.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the bombing and instructed authorities to provide the best possible treatment for the wounded.

Mardan is about 50 kilometres northwest of Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan and adjacent to the North Waziristan tribal region.

Pakistani forces have been carrying out a major operation against the Taliban and other militant groups in North Waziristan since 2014. The military says it has almost eliminated militants in the operation. Earlier this month, the military claimed "phenomenal successes" in the war and said it has killed around 3,500 insurgents since launching the North Waziristan operation.

The army says militants are on the run and security forces have broken their backbone.

But attacks have also been rampant in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and in December 2014, militants strapped with explosives broke into a military-run school in Peshawar, the provincial capital, and killed 148 people - most of them children.

The Taliban later claimed responsibility for the Peshawar school attack.

-----

Associated Press Writer Munir Ahmed from Islamabad contributed to this report.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Historic eclipse darkens skies across U.S.

    World News Toronto Sun
    Millions of Americans gazed in wonder through telescopes, cameras and disposable protective glasses Monday as the moon blotted out the sun in the first full-blown solar eclipse to sweep the U.S. from coast to coast in nearly a century. Source
  • Canadian man's body found along Appalachian Trail in Maine

    World News CTV News
    WYMAN TOWNSHIP, Maine -- Authorities say the body of a Canadian man has been found along the Appalachian Trail in Maine. WABI-TV reports that the body of 55-year-old Gerald Gabon, of Ontario, was found Sunday evening by another hiker along the trail in Wyman Township in Franklin County. Source
  • Chilean court upholds measure legalizing some abortions

    World News CTV News
    SANTIAGO, Chile -- Chile's constitutional Court on Monday upheld a measure that would end the country's absolute ban on abortions. The court's 6-4 vote accepted the constitutionality of a measure to legalize abortions when a woman's life is in danger, when a fetus is not viable and in cases of rape. Source
  • Guam official says the island is calm despite North Korea threat

    World News CTV News
    TOKYO -- The lieutenant governor of Guam reassured Japanese on Monday that the U.S. territory is calm amid the recent tension between the U.S. and North Korea. Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio said at a news conference with the president of the Guam Visitors Bureau in Tokyo that Guam remains in a "state of normalcy. Source
  • Jury awards $417M in lawsuit linking baby powder to cancer

    World News Toronto Sun
    LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million in a case to a woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company’s iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene. Source
  • Judge shot, wounded near Ohio courthouse; gunman killed

    World News Toronto Sun
    STEUBENVILLE, Ohio — A judge walking from his car into the county courthouse was shot by a gunman Monday morning but managed to fire back before a probation officer stepped in and ultimately killed the suspect, authorities said. Source
  • Quebec police hint at arrests after anti-immigration counter-rally turns violent [Photos]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    MONTREAL — Quebec City police are saying there is a very strong possibility there will be more arrests in connection with violence during duelling demonstrations over the weekend. A right-wing group called La Meute gathered Sunday to protest what it claims is a too-charitable refugee and immigration policy by the federal and Quebec governments. Source
  • Ottawa wants info on impact of nuclear-waste bunker on Indigenous community

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Further information on how a proposed nuclear-waste bunker near Lake Huron might affect area First Nations peoples is needed before the government decides whether to approve the project, federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said Monday. Source
  • U.S. Embassy in Russia stops issuing tourist visas for 8 days

    World News CTV News
    MOSCOW -- In a step that could affect hundreds of thousands of Russian tourists, the U.S. Embassy in Russia said Monday it would suspend issuing non-immigrant visas for eight days from Wednesday in response to the Russian decision to cap embassy staff. Source
  • Attorneys believe Marcellus Williams is innocent

    World News Toronto Sun
    ST. LOUIS — Attorneys for a condemned Missouri inmate warn that the state is preparing to execute a potentially innocent man. Marcellus Williams, 48, is scheduled to die Tuesday at the state prison in Bonne Terre for stabbing to death former St. Source