Pakistan Death Toll Soars above 100
death toll from Friday's double suicide bombing in northwest Pakistan
has risen to at least 102 people, making it the deadliest attack in the
country this year.
Rescuers dug up bodies from the attack on a
government office in the village of Yakaghund overnight, while other
victims died of their injuries in hospital.
have recovered more bodies from the debris of dozens of shops that were
razed to the ground by the blast and the number of dead has increased,"
Rasool Khan, a political official in the Mohmand district, said on
Khan said he believed he was the target of the two blasts that went off outside his office as local tribal elders gathered.
"There were two blasts. The first one was small but the second was a big one," Khan said.
Mohammad, another local official, confirmed the latest toll and said
there were 98 people receiving treatment in different hospitals.
"Some of them are in critical condition," he said.
The death toll on Friday had stood at 62 people, but Saturday's
announcement made it the deadliest attack since a car bomb destroyed a
market in the northwestern city of Peshawar, killing at least 125
people in October 2009.
About 80 shops were damaged or destroyed and 28 prisoners escaped
from a prison because of the attack. Officials said they were ordinary
criminals and not linked to the Taliban.
The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on
Friday. Ikhram Mullah, a spokesman for the group, telephoned a local TV
station to lay claim to the blasts.
The Pakistani government has launched a series of offensives against
the Taliban and similar groups in recent months, and Mohmand has seen
fierce fighting between the two sides.
In recent months the government has employed the tactic of using civilian militias to fight the Taliban, with limited sucess.
Al Jazeera's Imran Khan said that the bombings indicated a change of tactics for the Taliban. "It
was a political target," he said "We have seen the Taliban attack
military targets before - that's their modus operandi - but this was a
Pakistan has been hit by a wave of deadly attacks in recent months.
Last week two suicide bombers killed at least 42 people in an attack on
Pakistan's most important Sufi shrine in the eastern city of Lahore.