IANS | Last Modified - Dec 26, 2010, 01:15 PM IST
Islamabad: US President Barack Obama condemned Saturday's suicide attack in northwestern Pakistan in which 44 people were killed, saying the terror strike is "an affront to humanity".
"I strongly condemn the outrageous terrorist attack in Khar, Pakistan," Obama said in a statement from Hawaii, US, where he was celebrating Christmas with his family.
According to Geo TV, Obama said: "Killing innocent civilians outside a World Food Programme distribution point is an affront to the people of Pakistan, and to all humanity."
The blast occurred in Khar, the main town of lawless Bajaur tribal district near the Afghanistan border, once a stronghold of Taliban militants.
A suicide bomber wearing a burqa, and who some officials said was a woman, killed at least 44 people and wounded 100 as many of them queued for food that was being distributed at a UN distribution centre.
Most of the victims belonged to the local Salarzai tribe which supported military action against the militants and formed a militia to force them from Bajaur.
"The United States stands with the people of Pakistan in this difficult time, and will strongly support Pakistan's efforts to ensure greater peace, security and justice for its people," Obama said in his brief statement.
Washington considers Pakistan's lawless tribal belt the global headquarters of Al Qaeda and says eliminating the militant threat is vital to winning the nine-year war against the Taliban in neighbouring Afghanistan.