Suicide bomber kills 15 in Pakistan

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A suicide bomber has killed 15 people at a political rally in Pakistan's north-west province bordering Afghanistan, according to reports.

Among the injured is Pakistan interior minister Aftab Khan Sherpao, who was speaking at the event before the bomber struck.

He was taken to a hospital near Peshawar, according to the Associated Press news agency, for treatment for minor injuries.

Intelligence officials said that security guards attempted to block the suicide bomber from reaching Mr Sherpao.

A number of people are also reported to have been injured in the blast, including Mr Sherpao's son.

Pakistan's president, General Pervez Musharraf, is a key ally to the US in its war on terror, including cooperation in matters related to the troublesome Afghan border and terrorist activity in the region.

General Musharraf escaped injury after two bombings in 2003 which killed 17 people.

The Foreign Office has said there is a high risk of terrorism and sectarian violence within Pakistan and attacks can occur indiscriminately in public places.

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