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33 SHIITES KILLED IN A MARKET BLAST

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At least 33 people have been killed and many injured in a suicide car bomb attack at the village market Khoat, in NWFP – North-West Pakistan, 0n Friday 09/18/2009, police say.

The car bomb was detonated close to a hotel owned by a Shia Muslim businessman. Police officials said that many people had been injured by the explosion and they expect casualty figures to rise considerably (see also – Peshawar 06.09.09 ).

At the time of the explosion, the area was reported to be thronged with shoppers buying supplies for the weekend and the Muslim Eid festival, which is expected to start on Monday.

Most of the dead are said to be members of the Shiaa Muslim minority. The area has a history of sectarian tension.

The village is also close to the Orakzai tribal region, a stronghold of the Tehrik-e-Taleban present chief Hakimullah Mehsud, who took over as chief of the Sunni Pakistani Taliban.

There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the latest attack.
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