KHAR: At least nine people were killed and 23 injured as a result of a blast in the Pashat market of Salarzai area in Bajaur Agency on Thursday.
The market is owned by Shahabuddin Khan, a former Awami National Party (ANP) MNA and currently a leader of Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N), said a local in Salarzai. He is considered to be pro-government.
According to a political administration official, an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was planted in a vehicle which killed nine people and injured 23.
An eyewitness Ajmal Khan told the media that the bomb was fitted in a double cabin pick-up parked in the area.
The dead have been identified as Gulfaraz, Nizamuddin, Asfandiar, Taleem Khan, Waheedullah, Hina and Reshma.
The blast also destroyed two vehicles and four shops.
Administration officials and security forces rushed to the site and cordoned off the area after the blast.
An official at the Agency Headquarters Hospital in Khar told The Express Tribune that among those killed were two children, and that 22 injured had also been brought to the hospital.
Three of the injured were reported to be in critical condition and were shifted to Peshawar for further treatment.
The official said that there was a possibility that the number of casualties might rise. “They are all civilians and there is no security officer there.”
No group has claimed responsibility for the blast.
The Salarzai are a pro-government tribe and have been on the hit list of militants for a long time.