LAKI MARWAT, Pakistan, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- A suicide bomber killed scores of people Friday during a volleyball game in Laki Marwat, a city in northwest Pakistan, police said.
Police said the bomber drove a truck packed with explosives onto the sports field in Laki Marwat, The Times of London reported. The confirmed death toll climbed rapidly during the day with the Times putting it at 88. Most of the victims were children as young as 12, the newspaper said.
Anwer Khan, 18, told The Times he saw a black pick-up truck head toward the spectators. "A giant flame leaped toward the sky," Khan said. "There was bright light everywhere, just like a flash, and then a very huge blast shook everything. Two pellets hit my forehead and blood started flowing."
The city is near South Waziristan, where government forces have been battling Taliban militants. More than 500 people have been killed in bombings and other terrorist attacks since the campaign began.
"The locality has been a hub of militants. Locals set up a militia and expelled the militants from this area," police Chief Ayub Khan said. "This attack seems to be a reaction to their expulsion."
Khan said some victims might still be trapped in houses that had collapsed in the crowded neighborhood around the sports field. The number of wounded was also high.