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Archive for Saturday, February 21, 2009

Bomb kills 28 at Shiite leader’s funeral

February 21, 2009

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— A suicide bomber attacked the funeral of a slain Shiite Muslim leader in northwestern Pakistan on Friday, killing 28 people and triggering deadly rioting, officials said.

Rising sectarian attacks threaten to further destabilize nuclear-armed Pakistan just as it faces intense international pressure to crack down on Islamist militants.

Meanwhile, a top U.S. official said Washington was worried that a five-day-old cease-fire in the restive Swat valley could “turn into a surrender” to Taliban insurgents behind beheadings, the bombings of schools for girls and attacks on security forces.

Friday’s explosion struck a 1,000-strong crowd streaming toward a graveyard in Dera Ismail Khan for the burial of Sher Zeman, a Shiite leader who was gunned down in the city the day before.

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