Home Muslim World News 49 killed, 100 injured in Pakistan bomb blast

49 killed, 100 injured in Pakistan bomb blast


Peshawar: At least 49 people were killed and more than 100 injured Friday in a massive suicide bomb attack in Peshawar city in northwest Pakistan, a minister said.

A suicide bomber detonated his explosives-laden vehicle close to the Khyber Market in Peshawar, the capital of North West Frontier Province (NWFP), GEO TV reported.

“At least 49 people were killed and more than 100 injured in the blast,” provincial health minister Zahir Ali Shah told reporters in a latest update at the Lady Reading Hospital, where the injured were admitted. Earlier, Shah put the deaths in the blast at 41.

Mehboob Ali, a doctor at the hospital, confirmed the toll. He said 103 people, including women and children, were injured. The condition of more than 50 injured people was critical, he added.

Police officer Mohammad Karim said 100 kg explosives were used in the mayhem. Bomb disposal squad chief Shafqat Malik confirmed that the blast was carried out by a suicide bomber.

Machinegun ammunition along with the bomb was placed in the vehicle to cause maximum casualties, Malik said. “The suicide attacker was sitting in the vehicle,” he added.

Another police official, Nisar Marwat, said the toll could rise as some of the wounded are in critical condition.

Television footage showed a wrecked vehicle and an overturned bus. The powerful blast damaged several vehicles parked nearby and triggered panic in the heart of Peshawar, about 150 km from Islamabad.

Shopkeeper Mohammad Kamran said: “I was busy at work when I heard the blast. I rushed to the scene and saw naked bodies and the injured.”

“Some bodies of women and children were trapped in damaged cars. I saw a person who had lost both his legs but was trying to crawl out of a bus,” he added.

The explosion damaged several shops in the market.

“All this was so horrible that I started to cry. Who are these cruel people who commit such atrocious acts? It is unbelievable,” DPA quoted Kamran as saying.

The attack took place less than a week after the new Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud vowed to avenge the killing of his predecessor Baitullah Mehsud and other Taliban leaders in US missile attacks.

President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani condemned the bomb blast.

Zardari said the perpetrators of such heinous crime would not be spared and added that the government was committed to root out terrorism from the country.

In a separate message, Gilani said terrorists and extremists were Pakistan’s biggest enemies and every effort would be made to eradicate them.

It was the second bombing in Peshawar since Sep 26 when several people were killed. Pakistan has seen a spate of bombings after security forces stepped up their offensive against the Pakistani Taliban fighters.