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Pakistan suicide bomber kills 24

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Villagers carry a dead body of a suicide bombing victim for burial (AP)

Villagers carry a dead body of a suicide bombing victim for burial (AP)

Villagers carry a dead body of a suicide bombing victim for burial (AP)

At least 24 people have died when a suicide bomber in a pick-up truck detonated his explosives near government offices in north-west Pakistan.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack in Hangu city. But the Pakistani Taliban have taken credit for other recent strikes, saying they are part of a campaign to avenge the death of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in a US raid.

Hangu is a rough area just outside Pakistan's lawless tribal regions bordering Afghanistan. The tribal areas have long been havens for al Qaida and other militants.

Police official Irshad Khan said the bomb went off near several government buildings, including the district commissioner's office.

Those buildings for the most part escaped the blast, but numerous shops and other facilities nearby were damaged.

Senior police official Islamuddin Khan said at least 24 people were killed and 56 were wounded.

Since the bin Laden raid, militants have staged several major attacks in Pakistan, including an extraordinary 18-hour siege of a naval base that killed 10 people and four insurgents.

PA