Pakistan Provincial Minister Killed in Suicide Attack

Pakistan Provincial Minister Killed in Suicide AttackPakistan Provincial Minister Killed in Suicide Attack

At least 14 people, including an anti-Taliban provincial minister, were killed in a suicide attack in Pakistan's Punjab Province, a top official in the province said on Sunday.

Saeed Elahi, adviser to Punjab's chief minister, said the suicide bomber struck on Sunday at the residence of provincial home minister Shuja Khanzada, whose body could be seen in the rubble of the collapsed building in his hometown of Shadi Khan, Al Jazeera reported. At least 23 others were wounded, four of them in critical condition, in the attack that took place in Attock district, some 80 km northwest of the capital, Islamabad.

The outlawed Laskhar-e-Jhangvi militant group claimed responsibility for the attack and said it was in retaliation for the death of Malik Ishaq, the group's chief, who was killed in a police encounter along with his two sons and 11 of his strong supporters last month. Pakistani authorities have cracked down hard on the myriad of armed groups that have circulated through the country for the past decade.

The offensive escalated in December, after Pakistani Taliban fighters slaughtered 141 people, including 132 children in an attack on a military-run school in Peshawar in the South Asian nation's northwest.