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Bomb at Pakistan funeral kills 36

A suicide bomber has attacked a funeral attended by anti-Taliban militiamen in north-west Pakistan, killing at least 36 mourners and wounding more than 100 others.

The blast took place close to the city of Peshawar, not far from the tribally administered regions that border Afghanistan where militants are at their strongest.

The area is home to several tribal armies that battle the Taliban and receive government support for doing so. Like elsewhere in the north-west, the militias have been relentlessly targeted by the insurgents.

Police officer Zahid Khan said around 300 people were attending the funeral for the wife a militiamen in the Matani area when the bomber struck.

TV footage showed men picking up bloodied sandals and caps from a dusty, open space where mourners had gathered.

Witnesses said the bomber, who appeared to be in his late teens, arrived at the funeral just as it was about to begin.

"We thought this youth was coming to attend the funeral, but he suddenly detonated a bomb," said survivor Syed Alam Khan.

Jamal Shah, a doctor at the main hospital in Peshawar, said so far it had received 36 bodies and more than 100 people had been wounded in the blast.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the assault. Spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan said the insurgents targeted the militiamen because they were allied with the Pakistani government and, effectively, the United States.

"We will carry out more such attacks if they did not stop their activities," he said via phone from an undisclosed location.

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