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Son, nephew of influential Afghan cleric among the dead in Peshawar blast

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A suicide bomber on a motorcycle laden with five to six kilograms of an explosive material has killed eight in Peshawar, Pakistan.

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Reuters News reports the son of an influential Afghan cleric has been killed. The Associated Press of Pakistan reports that a son and nephew of former Afghan Vice Prime Minister Qazi Amin Waqad, were among the dead.

Peshawar police chief Liaqat Ali Khan believes the local police force was target of the bomber. The blast happened as a police car passed the suicide bomber on the motorcycle. The son, Qazi Mohammad Hilal Waqad and nephew Mohammad Idrees, are the relatives of Waqad killed in the blast.

The violent explosion took place near the Azam Tower. There are conflicting reports concerning the actual number of causalities. One local rescue worker puts the number at 10 killed and 50 wounded.

The former Afghan official Qazi Amin Waqad is currently a member of Afghanistan’s High Council for Peace. His son and nephew were working at the Afghan consulate. Afghan Consul General Syed Mohammad Ibrahim Khel in Islamabad said: "The two Afghans who were killed were working at the consulate. However, it did not appear they were the target of the attack" (Yahoo News).

An Afghan official at the consulate in Peshawar said Waqad was appointed by the Afghan government and is currently holding peace negotiations with the Taliban. In Dec. 2011, Reuters reported that the U.S. had been at the peace table with the Taliban. Reuters said:

After 10 months of secret dialogue with Afghanistan's Taliban insurgents, senior U.S. officials say the talks have reached a critical juncture and they will soon know whether a breakthrough is possible, leading to peace talks whose ultimate goal is to end the Afghan war.

Suspicions will point to the Pakistani Taliban as the terrorist group responsible for the Peshawar blast.

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