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Hotel blast kills at least 24 in Pakistan

A suicide attacker detonated a bomb that ripped through a hotel in the northwestern city of Peshawar on Tuesday, killing at least 24 people and wounding 25, police said.

A suicide attacker detonated a bomb that ripped through a hotel in the northwestern city of Peshawar on Tuesday, killing at least 24 people and wounding 25, police said.

No group claimed responsibility for the blast, which deepened instability in Pakistan, still reeling from bloody political riots during the weekend in its commercial capital, Karachi.

Provincial police chief Sharif Virk said investigators had found two legs of the suspected suicide bomber, with a message attached to one leg saying anyone working for America would meet this fate.

The blast took place in the reception area of the four-storey Marhaba Hotel in Peshawar's old city.

An intelligence official said the hotel was popular with Afghans and that it had been crowded with people eating lunch. The official asked that he not be named for security reasons.

Police said they had evacuated the hotel, which lies in a busy market area, cordoned off the scene and opened an investigation.

Peshawar is the capital of North West Frontier Province, a region bordering Afghanistan where pro-Taliban militants are active. It has suffered periodic bomb attacks in recent years.

In January, a suicide bombing near a Shia mosque killed 15 people and wounded more than 30, mostly police.

On April 28, a suicide attack on Pakistan's Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao in the nearby town of Charsadda killed 28 people. Sherpao was slightly hurt in the blast, the latest in a series of top Pakistani officials to be targeted by militants.

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