Death toll in Pakistan suicide bombing rises to 34

The death toll from a suicide bombing that targeted members of an anti-Taliban militia attending funeral prayers in Pakistan's northwestern region has risen to 34, police said Friday.

The bomber blew himself up Thursday as mourners gathered on open ground in Jandol town in the district of Lower Dir, 100 kilometres (60 miles) from the once Taliban-infested Swat Valley.

"The death toll in the attack rose to 34 overnight," senior police official Salim Khan Marwat told AFP.

"The bomber came on foot and blew himself up in the middle of people as they were about to start prayers," he said, adding that investigations were ongoing and the bomber's remains had been sent away for testing.

Another senior police official Akhtar Hayat Gandapur confirmed the toll.

The blast came two days after four boys connected to another northwestern anti-militant group were killed in another explosion that was claimed by the Pakistani Taliban.

There was no claim of responsibility for Thursday's blast.

Bombings blamed on Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked networks have killed more than 4,630 people in Pakistan since 2007, destabilising the nuclear-armed state.

In 2009, 30,000 Pakistani troops went into battle against Taliban fighters who for two years had terrorised people with a campaign of beheadings, violence and attacks on girls' schools in Swat and parts of Dir.

The army declared the region back under control in July of that year and said the rebels had all been killed, captured or had fled.

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