Food aid stalled in northwest Pakistan after female Taliban suicide bomber kills 45(Read article summary)
A Pakistani Taliban spokesman said the Christmas Day attack targeted the Salarzai tribe, which has allied itself with the government and formed an anti-Taliban militia.
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Aid agencies have closed down much-needed food-aid operations in parts of northwest Pakistan after a female suicide bomber struck a crowd at a food aid distribution center Saturday, killing at least 45 people and wounding as many as 100 more.
Government officials Sunday closed emergency food distribution centers in the Bajaur tribal region, an area near the Afghan border where both Al Qaeda and the Taliban operate, after the bombing in the town of Khar. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which is one of the first by a female suicide bomber in Pakistan. It has sparked concern that the organization may begin to dispatch more female bombers, who are more difficult to detect because of their clothing.
Agence France-Presse reports that Pakistani officials confirmed Sunday that the bomber was a woman, as witnesses had reported Saturday. A Pakistani official called it the first confirmed case of a female suicide bomber in Pakistan, though The New York Times reports that it is the second.