PESHAWAR: At least 38 people were killed and 100 others sustained injuries in a blast in Peshawar’s Qissa Khwani area on Sunday, a week after a bombing at a church in the city killed scores, Express News reported.
Initial reports suggest the attack's principal target was a nearby police station. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
This is the third attack in Peshawar in the last eight days. Last Friday, at least 19 people were killed and dozens were injured when a bomb exploded inside a van carrying Civil Secretariat employees. Last Sunday, over 78 parishioners, among them 34 women and seven children, were killed and over a hundred were injured in an attack on the All Saints Church.
Rescue officials reached the blast site and shifted the injured to Lady Reading Hospital. Emergency was declared in the hospital.
Many of the injured are in critical condition.
The blast took place near a police station in the Qissa Khwani area - a place crowded with shops and families. Fire erupted soon after the explosion and at least eight shops were also damaged.
Police cordoned off the blast site, while the bomb disposal squad collected evidence. It was determined that around 200 kilogrammes of explosives were planted inside a car used in the blast.
The bomb disposal chief told AFP the evidence suggested it was a remote controlled bomb.
"In fact, the whole car, which had been parked along the roadside, was converted into a remote controlled bomb," he said.
Local officials said they did not initially believe the police station was the intended target.
"Police station does not seem to be the target as it was away from the attack site," bomb disposal chief Shafqat Malik said.
He said, "It looks like the market was the target."
PTI Chairman Imran Khan
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan said that Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa was being deliberately targeted so that peace won't prevail in Pakistan.
Strongly condemning the blast, he assured the nation that the culprits will be punished.
Asserting that some parties were using the tragedy for political point-scoring, he said that this was unfortunate and all political parties should come together to restore peace in Pakistan.
PTI chairman said that he had directed the coalition government to provide support to provincial security and intelligence apparatus.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government condemned the attack and issued directives to provide facilities to those injured in the explosion.
President Mamnoon Hussain, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Muttahida Quami Movement chief Altaf Hussain also condemned the attack.
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