At least 34 people have been killed in a suicide bombing at a funeral procession in north-western Pakistan.Officials said the funeral was for the wife of a pro-government ethnic Pashtun tribal elder in Adezai village in the troubled Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
It was being attended by many anti-Taliban militiamen in the region. At least 40 people were wounded.
Several anti-Taliban tribal groups are based in the area and they are often targeted by the insurgents.
A spokesman for the Taliban told the BBC that they carried out the bombing.
He said it was in retaliation for the support by local tribal militia of the ongoing anti-Taliban operation by Pakistan's security forces.
The bomber targeted the funeral of the wife of Hakim Khan - a leader of the anti-Taliban tribal force in Adezai, some 15km (10 miles) from Peshawar city.
Mr Khan was instrumental in raising the force, known as a lashkar, with the support of the government to fight militants.
Correspondents say that it was not immediately clear if Mr Khan was killed or wounded in the explosion.
The procession was on its way to the cemetery when the attack took place.
End Quote Anwar Khan Bomb eyewitnessIt was like doomsday ... There were dead and injured lying all around”
"As we are readying for prayers, a boy wrapped in a shawl headed towards us. People shouted to the imam (prayer leader) to wait for him to join us but as he came close he blew himself up," witness Mehmood Shah told the Reuters news agency.The BBC's Syed Shoaib Hasan in Pakistan says that rescue workers were quick to reach the scene even though the bomb caused carnage and mayhem.
The injured were rushed to hospitals in Peshawar, where a medical emergency has now been declared.
Adezai, located in the Mattani area, has been the centre of a tribal anti-Taliban force raised with the government support.
The head of the force, Abdul Malik, was killed in a bomb attack in 2009.
2011 PAKISTAN ATTACKS
- 8 March: At least 26 people killed in a car bomb in Faisalabad
- 2 March: Religious Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti shot dead in Islamabad
- 10 February: Suicide bomb attack on an army compound in Mardan kills at least 31 people
- 4 January: Punjab Governor Salman Taseer shot dead by his bodyguard in Islamabad
The area has also seen frequent Taliban attacks on police stations and security posts.Until recently, the tribal anti-Taliban force had been conducting night patrols to discourage Taliban attacks but it ended some weeks ago as the government's supply of arms and ammunition to the members of the force dwindled.
The attack comes a day after at least 26 people were killed and more than 120 injured in a car bomb explosion at a gas station in the city of Faisalabad.
The Taliban said they were behind Tuesday's attack.