Eight people were killed and 45 injured Thursday when a suspected suicide bomber blew himself up at a gathering of tribal elders in Khar known to harbour militants, officials said. The blast targeted a tribal "lashkar" or army- and government-backed force in Batmalai, some 40 kilometres northeast of Khar, the main town in the northwest Bajaur region, local administrator Iqbal Khattak told a foreign news agency. Fazal-i-Rabi, a local police official, added: "Two-to-three hundred members of the lashkar were finalising their strategy after demolishing houses of militants when the blast occurred. "Eight people were killed and 45 were injured in the attack. Around 30 are in a serious condition." Tribal elder and former lawmaker Shahbuddin Khan added: "The blast was suicide."