15 killed, dozens wounded in Pakistani bomb attack


At least 15 people have been killed and 35 wounded after a car bomb ripped through a Pakistani bus station in the northwestern city of Peshawar on Thursday.

Officials said that almost 90 pounds of explosives planted in a white car parked at the Kohat bus terminal triggered a blast which destroyed more than 20 other vehicles, The New York Times reported.

Mian Iftikhar Hussain, the information minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkwa Province, of which Peshawar is the capital, put the overall death toll at 15.

Thursday’s attack took place on the road towards the garrison city of Kohat, near the lawless tribal belt where Taliban and Al Qaeda-linked militants have carved out a stronghold, according to the Agence France Presse.

No group has taken responsibility for the attack yet, but a senior official said police had been warned that the pro-Taliban militants Lashkar-e-Islam might carry out a strike in response to continuing military operations in the Khyber tribal area.

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TV footage showed emergency vehicles speeding the wounded to hospital. Several of those injured are in a critical condition, with the death toll likely to rise. Some of those killed in the attack were children, according to the BBC.

According to the AFP, around 4,900 people have been killed in more than 530 bomb attacks across Pakistan since July 2007, when government forces stormed an Islamabad mosque sheltering Islamist extremists, sparking a home-grown Taliban-led insurgency. 

Last Friday a suicide bomber killed more than 30 people in an attack on a market in a mainly Shiite area in the north-western town of Parachinar. 

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