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    10 tribal elders killed in Takhar suicide attack

    TALOQAN (PAN): Ten tribal figures were among 20 people killed in Sunday's suicide attack in Taloqan, the capital of northern Takhar province, officials said on Monday.

    The bombing, which also killed Matlab Baig, a member of the Wolesi Jirga from Takhar, occurred at a funeral in the Kunjak area on the outskirts of the city. More than 50 people were wounded in the blast.

    Noted tribal figures, including Hafizullah Safi, were among the fatalities, the public health director said. He put the number of the injured at 55.

    "The bombing took place close to Matlab Baig, who was listening to the cleric's sermon," said Musa, a participant of the funeral ceremony.

    No one has so far asserted responsibility for the attack. It is said that the funeral of Matlab Baig and other victims would be held later in the day in Taloqan.

    According to Mahmood Al Hasan, the deputy police chief, special security arrangements had been put in place. Most of the roads had been closed and security personnel deployed at routes leading to the city, he said.

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