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Toll in Pakistan Suicide Bombing Rises to 45

The bomber attacked a gathering of the Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl party

The death toll in a suicide bombing of a political rally by a religious group allied to Pakistan's government rose to 45 on Monday, compounding security concerns in the runup to a general election in November.

The bomber attacked Sunday's gathering of the conservative Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) party, which is known for its links to hardline Islamists but which condemns militants seeking to overthrow the Pakistani government.

Metal chairs and tables were strewn in piles at the scene of the explosion in the Bajaur district in the northwest, near the border with Afghanistan. No one has claimed responsibility. Police said the Islamic State group was suspected.

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