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Villagers fear hunger after Pakistan bombing

December 26, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Impoverished villagers living in a part of northwestern Pakistan are becoming desperate for food following a suicide bombing.A woman wearing a burqa blew herself up at a food aid distribution center on Saturday, killing 45 people.

The U.N.'s World Food Program is closing down all four of its food aid distribution centers in that district indefinitely.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for Saturday's attack.

About 300,000 villagers who have been displaced by the insurgency in Pakistan depend on food assistance from the U.N.

Painda Khan, a 48-year-old farmer who abandoned his crops months ago, said his family of 11 was now desperate for their rations of rice, flour, lentils, cooking oil and high-energy biscuits that he had been going to pick up on Monday.

"We have been borrowing food from neighbors for the last five days," said Khan, adding that his family last received supplies on Nov. 25.

Officials said the displaced villagers are not eligible for food rations from outside the district.

The suicide attack may be the first by a woman in Pakistan, since previous reports of female suicide bombers were disproved.

The Associated Press contributed to this report


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