A roadside bomb ripped through a Pakistan air force bus in the northwestern city of Peshawar on Tuesday, killing 14 people including four military officials and a young girl.
The explosion came as Pakistani helicopter gunships strafed Taliban hideouts in a nearby tribal area where fierce clashes have left more than 150 militants dead, but it was not immediately clear if the incidents were linked.
The blast destroyed the air force bus and two civilian cars as they passed over a bridge. The mangled wreckage of the bus was lying in a large crater, and the scene spattered with blood, an AFP photographer saw. “Thirteen dead bodies and 15 injured have now been brought here,” Khan Abbas, a police official deployed to Peshawar’s main hospital, told AFP.
The air force vehicle, which was used for transporting rations, was travelling from the Badaber base to Peshawar when it was hit by the bomb at about 11:00 am, a Pakistan Air Force spokesman said. The police chief of North West Frontier Province, Malik Naveed Khan, said the bomb appeared to have been remotely detonated.
“So far, according to my information, it was a security vehicle and an IED (improvised explosive device) was planted under the bridge.”