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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

World

Pakistan car bomb kills 25: officials
AFP
Peshawar, Pakistan, June 16, 2012
First Published: 12:38 IST(16/6/2012)
Last Updated: 14:45 IST(16/6/2012)

A car bomb attack on Saturday killed 25 people including three children in Pakistan's northwestern tribal district near the Afghan border, officials said.

"The death toll is 25," from the blast in the main bazaar of Landi Kotal in Khyber tribal district, local administration chief Mutahir Zeb told AFP, adding more than 30 were injured. Hospital officials confirmed the toll.

The blast took place in the main bazaar of Landi Kotal in Khyber tribal district, local administration official Arshad Khan said.

Irfan Ahmed, a doctor at the state run Landi Kotal Hospital, confirmed the casualties. "We have received over a dozen bodies," he said. The dead included two children aged nine and 10.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Islamist militants have carried out several attacks in the area.

Since July 2007, a Taliban-led insurgency concentrated in the northwest has fought Pakistan's US-allied government.

Khan said the blast appeared to be aimed at members of the pro-government Zakha Khel tribe, who oppose a local warlord, Mangal Bagh. His Lashkar-i-Islam group has links to Islamist militants and criminal gangs.

"The bomb was planted in a pick-up truck parked near the bus stand," Khan said.

Six shops were gutted and several damaged in the blast, which also destroyed at least eight vehicles, he added.

In the last five years, attacks blamed on Islamist bombers have killed more than 5,000 people in Pakistan according to an AFP tally.

US officials the country's semi-autonomous tribal belt a safe haven for al Qaeda and insurgents fighting both in Pakistan and across the border in Afghanistan.

Last week a bomb ripped through a passenger bus, killing 19 people, including seven women and a child, on the outskirts of Peshawar, the main city in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

It was the deadliest attack in months on Peshawar, which has long been a flashpoint for the insurgency.

Pakistan's relations with the United States are in disarray and it has imposed a blockade on Nato supplies crossing overland into Afghanistan since US air strikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers along the border last November.


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