Thirteen people were killed and 22 injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowded market within the cantonment area in the northwestern Pakistani city of Mardan today.
The blast occurred in front of a bakery located near shops selling music and movies at about 7 pm (7.30 pm IST). A large number of people were present in the market, which is owned by the Punjab Regimental Centre.
North West Frontier Province Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said 13 people were killed and 22 injured in the suicide attack. An army spokesman said four soldiers were among the dead.
The injured, including six security personnel, were rushed to nearby hospitals. The seriously injured were later shifted to the NWFP capital of Peshawar.
Deputy Inspector General of police Akhtar Ali Shah said the bomber blew himself up at the entrance of the bakery when he was stopped by security personnel. Other officials said parts of the body of the bomber, believed to be in his twenties, had been found.
A large number of army personnel visit the market and the bakery on weekends and it is believed they were the bomber's main target.
Local Taliban commanders claimed responsibility for the attack. They told TV channels that the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan had permitted them to carry out such attacks in retaliation for military operations being conducted in Darra Adam Khel town.