Bomb kills 9 in Pakistan's Peshawar: officials
A bomb ripped through a van in Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar today, killing nine people and wounding more than 20, officials said.world Updated: Sep 19, 2012 18:51 IST
A bomb ripped through a van in Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar on Wednesday, killing nine people and wounding more than 20, officials said.
Officers said it was not immediately clear whether the bomb was planted in the van or at the roadside.
"At least nine people have been killed in the blast and 34 others wounded," senior administration official Javed Marwat told AFP, adding that a Pakistan Air Force van was also damaged in the explosion.
Another police official said the blast hit the van as it approached a car in a busy market at Kohat road on the outskirts of the city.
"The blast occurred when a car came close to the van. The shopkeepers in the nearby market ran soon after the blast," Iqbal Khan, a senior police official in the area said.
He said that the blast had also damaged a few shops in the market.
Nobody immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but Taliban militants have been carrying out similar bombings and suicide attacks in the province, which neighbours Afghanistan.
Attacks blamed on Islamists have killed more than 5,200 people in Pakistan since government troops raided an extremist mosque in the capital Islamabad five years ago, according to an AFP tally.
Earlier this month, a suicide car bomber rammed a US consulate vehicle in the provincial capital Peshawar, killing at least two people.
Up to 19 people were wounded when the bomber struck during morning rush hour near the office of the UN Refugee Agency and residential quarters used by the US consulate in Peshawar.
Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militant groups who are sworn enemies of the United States frequently carry out attacks and have strongholds in the tribal belt near Peshawar.