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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Restaurant Blast Kills 24 in Pakistan

PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- A suicide attacker detonated a bomb that ripped through a crowded hotel restaurant in the northwestern city of Peshawar on Tuesday, killing at least 24 people and wounding 25, police said.

The blast deepened instability in Pakistan, still reeling from bloody political riots over the weekend in its commercial capital, Karachi. The attack appeared unrelated to that unrest, but rather the work of an Islamic militant.

Provincial police chief Sharif Virk said investigators had found the legs of the suicide bomber, with a message taped to one leg saying spies for America would meet the fate of those killed in the blast. The message also included the Persian word often used in militant videos to describe Afghanistan.

Peshawar is the capital of a region bordering Afghanistan where pro-Taliban militants are active.

A senior investigator said police were examining whether the attack could be linked to events in Pakistan's volatile tribal regions or Afghanistan, including the death of top Taliban military commander Mullah Dadullah in a U.S.-led military operation Sunday.

The bomb went off in the ground-floor restaurant of the four-story Marhaba Hotel in Peshawar's old city and left a carnage of corpses and body parts scattered among overturned tables and shattered crockery.

Hassan Khan, a waiter in the restaurant, said the bomb went off soon after the owner, Saddar Uddin, had returned from a trip outside with some relatives. Uddin, his two sons, two other relatives and seven employees were among the dead, he said.

An intelligence official said Uddin, an ethnic Uzbek, had links to the party of anti-Taliban warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum, part of the Northern Alliance that toppled the Taliban in Afghanistan with U.S. support in late 2001.