At least four killed in bomb attack in Pakistan on religious school

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At least four students were killed and dozens more wounded Tuesday when a bomb exploded during a class at their religious school in northwestern Pakistan, officials said.

More than 60 people had been taking a lesson when the explosion tore through the madrassa in Peshawar, about 170 kilometers (around 100 miles) west of Islamabad, said Waqar Azim, a senior police official.

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“The blast took place in a seminary during a Koran class. Someone took a bag inside the seminary. At least four seminary students have been killed and 34 wounded,” Azim told AFP.

He added that the person who had brought in the bag left the lecture hall before the blast.

Mohammad Ali Gandapur, another senior police official, confirmed the blast and details. He said two teachers were among the wounded.

No group claimed immediate responsibility for the attack.

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The blast follows months of relative calm in Pakistan.

Peshawar was once the epicenter of militant violence in Pakistan, with extremists targeting security forces and public spaces in the city near the northwestern frontier with Afghanistan.

Violence in Pakistan has declined in recent years following a series of military operations along the border with Afghanistan, but militant groups are still able to carry out deadly attacks.

Pakistan’s army launched its operation in mid-2014 to wipe out militant bases in the area and end the near decade-long insurgency that has cost thousands of lives.

The operation was intensified after the Pakistani Taliban killed more than 150 people, the majority of them children, at a school in Peshawar in December 2014.

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