First Female Bomber Kills 43 in Pakistan
'Blood and human flesh everywhere,' says survivor
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 25, 2010 8:15 AM CST
Pakistani men weep as they stand beside their relative who was injured in the suicide bombing in Bajur tribal region, at Lady Reading hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan on Saturday, Dec. 25, 2010.   (Mohammad Sajjad)
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(Newser) – A female suicide bomber detonated her explosives-laden vest, killing at least 43 people at an aid distribution center in northwestern Pakistan today, while army helicopter gunships and artillery killed a similar number of Islamic militants in neighboring tribal regions near the Afghan border, officials said. The bombing appeared to be the first suicide attack staged by a woman in Pakistan, and was claimed by the Pakistani Taliban.

The bomber struck in the main city in Bajur, a region near the Afghan border where the military has twice declared victory over Taliban and al-Qaeda insurgents. "Police asked for her identity, but she ran toward the center and lobbed hand grenades," said a local official. "She exploded herself when she reached the crowd" of about 300. A Taliban spokesman said the victims were targeted because most belonged to a tribe that was among the first to organize a militia to fight the Taliban. "Everybody was crying," said one survivor. "It was blood and human flesh everywhere."