Funerals for victims of attack on Pakistani minister
Apr 29, 2007 - 2:52:21 PM

Islamabad, April 29 - Funeral ceremonies were held in the Pakistani town of Charsadda Sunday for some of at least 28 people killed in the Saturday's suicide bomb attack on Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao.

Sherpao, who suffered minor shrapnel wounds to the legs from the blast at a political rally, was among hundreds of people who attended prayer services in the town located in the troubled North West Frontier Province - by the Afghan border.

'It was a miracle. I don't know how I survived,' Sherpao told the Dawn newspaper after Saturday's evening explosion. His son was close by but also escaped serious injury.

A high-security alert was declared in the main cities of Pakistan after the incident.

Sherpao, whose older brother died in a bombing at a public meeting in the NWFP capital Peshawar in 1975 while serving as interior minister, had received death threats before the attack.

A number of elected politicians and security officials were among the casualties from the blast, which according to official figures also injured 40 people. No group immediately claimed responsibility.

Sherpao had just finished addressing a rally of supporters of his faction of the Pakistani People's Party when a man approached the minister and detonated an explosive vest pack with metal fragments.

It was the seventh suicide attack in Pakistan this year. President Pervez Musharraf quickly condemned the Charsadda blast and vowed to carry on the fight against terrorism.

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