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Bombing Targets Government Office In Northwest Pakistan

Relatives of one of the victims killed in a suicide attack on a National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) office, react outside a hospital in Mardan, Pakistan on December 29.

Pakistani police say a bomb has gone off outside a government office in the northwestern city of Mardan, killing 18 people.

Saeed Wazir, deputy inspector general of police for Mardan district, told RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal on December 29 that another 28 people were wounded in the blast.

He said the attack took place outside the regional office of the National Database and Registration Authority, which issues identity cards to Pakistanis.

He said the police are still trying to determine whether the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber or if the bomb was rigged to a motorcycle. Early news reports had spoken only of a suicide bomber.

A breakaway faction of Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has taken responsibility for the attack in a statement sent to Radio Mashaal. The group, Jamat ul Ahrar, threatened to launch more attacks against Pakistani offices.

Mardan is about 50 kilometers northwest of Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan.

With reporting by AP, AFP and Reuters