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Casualties feared in blast in NW Pakistan
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A suicide blast took place in northwestern Pakistan on Friday when people were offering Eid prayers, leaving over 55 people dead and 35 others injured, the official PTV reported.


The blast occurred in a mosque near the village of former interior minister Aftab Sherpao, who was attending the prayers with his family members, said the report.


Sherpao was offering prayers at the first row when a suicide attacker launched the attack at the second row, leaving 55 people dead and 35 others including Sherpao's son Mustafa Sherpao injured. Sherpao remained safe in the attack.


Over 1,000 people were present at the time of blast in the mosque, some 25 km from Peshawar, capital of North West Frontier Province (NWFP).


The injured and dead bodies have been transferred to local hospitals and the police have started an investigation.


Sherpao is the head of Pakistan People's Party (Sherpao group) and former Chief Minister NWFP. He has filed nomination papers to contest the forthcoming general elections.


Eid-Ul-Azha is a religious festival celebrated by Muslims. Pakistani government announced that the country would observe Eid holidays from Dec. 20 to 22.


(Xinhua News Agency December 21, 2007)

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