Friday 19 January 2018

Bomb blast kills 15 in Pakistani city of Peshawar

Pakistani security personnel examine a bus following a bomb blast in Peshawar, Pakistan (AP)
Pakistani security personnel examine a bus following a bomb blast in Peshawar, Pakistan (AP)

A bomb blast has ripped through a bus carrying government employees in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, killing 15.

Police official Abbas Majeed Marwat said the bombing happened in an army area of the city.

He said nearly 40 other people were wounded by the improvised explosive device planted under a seat on the bus.

No-one has claimed responsibility, but suspicion likely is to fall on the Pakistani Taliban and their allied militants, who have been waging a war on the state for more than a decade, killing tens of thousands of people.

The explosion took place in an area that houses military institutions and residences, as the bus was taking government employees from several nearby towns to the provincial secretariat in Peshawar.

Local TV footage showed the wreckage of the bus as police and rescue officials rushed the wounded to hospital. Footage from a surveillance camera captured the moment of the explosion, showing the bus moving on a road and then blowing up in a cloud of thick smoke.

Rescuers had to cut through the bus to pull out several of the victims, said another police official, Mubarak Zeb. He said 17lb of explosives was used in the bomb.

Peshawar has been the scene of several major Taliban attacks, including the December 2014 massacre at an army public school in the city that that killed 150, mostly children.

The latest bombing also underscored that despite widespread Pakistani army offensives - including one launched in June 2014 in nearby North Waziristan - the militants still have the power to launch large-scale attacks.

Press Association

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