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ISLAMABAD (AP) — A suicide bomber killed nine people in northwestern Pakistan Tuesday just hours after peace talks between government negotiators and a team representing the Pakistani Taliban were delayed, officials said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack on a hotel frequented by members of the Shiite Muslim minority sect. Suspicion is likely to fall on Sunni Islamic militants who view Shiites as heretics, although the Pakistani Taliban denied any responsibility for the bombing.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been pushing for negotiations over military operations to end militant violence in the Islamic country, where over 40,000 people in recent years have been killed in acts of terrorism. Authorities blame most of the deaths on Pakistani Taliban.