Bomb near Shia leader's funeral kills at least nine
New outbreak of violence in Pakistan
Police and volunteers inspect the site of the bombing (picture AFP Photo/ A. Majeed)
At least nine people were killed and 40 others wounded when a bomb ripped through a hotel in Pakistan's troubled Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Tuesday, hours after a Shia cleric was shot dead.
The hotel, frequented by Shi'ite Muslims from the Kurram tribal agency and other areas, is located in the Kucha Risaldar area of Qissa Khwani Bazaar in Peshawar.
Senior police officer Najeeb ur Rehman said a suicide bomber entered the dining area of the Pak Hotel and blew himself up.
"Peshawar is surrounded by tribal agencies from three sides and it becomes almost impossible to protect the whole city," Rehman said.
According to police, the bomber wanted to target the funeral prayers of a Shia leader, Haji Sardar Ali, who was gunned down earlier in the day in the same locality. But the assailant failed to hit his target due to heavy security.
The death toll is expected to rise with at least seven people in critical condition.
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, which is blamed for most of the attacks in the country, said it is not associated with the hotel blast and termed it an attempt to sabotage the group's negotiations with the government.
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