Suicide attack kills 38 at Pakistan funeral

QUETTA: A suicide bomber killed 38 people on Thursday and wounded more than 50 others, most of them Pakistani policemen attending a funeral on the eve of the Eid al-Fitr festival, an officer said.

The attack at police headquarters in the southwestern city of Quetta was the latest in a series of attacks highlighting the major security challenges faced by a newly elected government.

The bomber struck as officers gathered to pay their respects to a colleague who had been shot dead only hours before in Quetta, capital of the troubled province of Baluchistan.

Fayaz Sumbal, a deputy inspector general of police and one of the most senior officers in Quetta, was among those killed.

“At least 38 people have been killed and more than 50 injured,” senior police official Mohammad Tariq said. “Most of the dead and injured are policemen.”

A son of the imam of the mosque at the police headquarters was among the dead, Doctor Syed Sarwar Shah said at one hospital.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Quetta sits on the frontline of Islamist militant violence, a Baluch separatist insurgency and violence targeting the Shiite Muslim minority.

Police officer Rahim Khan had earlier put the death toll at 28 but warned that many of the injured were in a critical condition.

Police said the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber.