14 killed in Pakistan bombing

Islamabad, June 21 (IANS) At least 14 people were killed and 28 others injured when a suicide bomber blew himself in a seminary in Pakistan's northwest Peshawar city Friday afternoon, local officials said.

Saukat Ali Yousufzai, provincial information minister, said that three militants launched a coordinated attack on Madrassa Hussainia seminary located in Gulshan Colony area of Peshawar, the capital of the northwest Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa province, reported Xinhua.

"Three unidentified militants opened fire at the security guards... at the main gate of the seminary. After killing the guards, one attacker blew himself up inside the seminary's mosque while his two accomplices fled from the scene," said Shaukat.

The seminary's cleric said that the institution belonged to Shia Muslims and there were around 200 people inside the mosque when the suicide bomber set himself off.

Safiullah, superintendent of police of the area, said that the bomber was carrying an estimated six to eight kg of explosives in his vest and his victims included a policeman and three kids who had come to offer prayers.

Provincial government officials rushed to the blast site following the incident and declared an emergency in the nearby Lady Reading Hospital where all the injured people were shifted by police, rescue teams and volunteers.

Hospital sources said at least eight among the injured people were in critical condition and were being treated in the intensive care unit.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

Police cordoned off the area and conducted a search operation at the blast site and also in the area.

President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the blast and directed hospital authorities to provide the best medical treatment to the injured people.

Talking to the media after the incident, province's Information Minister Saukat Ali Yousufzai said that efforts were on to curb militancy in the area by initiating peace talks with the Pakistan Taliban.

Friday's attack came three days after 34 people were killed and over 50 others injured in a suicide blast at a funeral in the neighboring Mardan city.

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