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Food aid stalled in northwest Pakistan after female Taliban suicide bomber kills 45

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Mohammad Sajjad/AP

(Read caption) Pakistani men weep as they stand beside their relative who was injured in the suicide bombing in Bajur tribal region, at Lady Reading hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan on Saturday. A female suicide bomber detonated her explosives-laden vest in northwest Pakistan on Saturday.

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• A daily summary of global reports on security issues.

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.

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