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Dozens killed, 62 hurt in Pakistan blast

Senior police official says 30 people died and 62 were injured in suicide bombing at funeral procession in northwestern Pakistan.
/ Source: news services

A suicide bombing at a funeral for a police officer killed at least 30 people and wounded 62 others Friday in northwestern Pakistan, a police official said.

The attack occurred in a government high school in the town of Mingora while funeral prayers were being held for a police officer killed in a roadside bombing earlier in the day, said Deputy Inspector General of Police Syed Akhtar Ali Shah.

Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema said the attack occurred in Swat, a mountainous region where Pakistani security forces have been battling Islamist militants for months.

Waqif Khan, a senior police officer in the region, said officials have been trying to gain a better handle on the death toll.

The policeman being buried was one of three killed by a roadside bomb in Bannu, a town at the gateway to the troubled North Waziristan tribal region.

Pakistan's army deployed to Swat earlier this year to quell an uprising led by a pro-Taliban cleric, and claims it has dispersed thousands of militant followers but attacks persisted. Last Friday, a roadside bomb hit a wedding party, killing 12 people.

Taliban militants have stepped up attacks and taken control of tracts of northwestern Pakistan bordering Afghanistan in the past couple of years. Before militants took root last summer, Swat was once a draw for tourists because of its fine mountain scenery.

Please check back for details on this breaking story.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.