A suicide bomber apparently targeting an anti-Taliban mayor struck a crowded market Sunday in northwestern Pakistan, killing the mayor and 11 other people and wounding dozens, police said.
The attack took place in the town of Adazai, about 16 km south of Peshawar. The market was crowded with shoppers and goats being sold to celebrate the coming festival of Eid.
The mayor, Abdul Malik, who was initially reported to have survived, died in the attack, said Sahibzada Anis, the top official in Peshawar.
Malik, who had once been a Taliban supporter, later switched sides and formed a local militia to help fight the militants. ‘’Malik had survived several attacks on his life in the recent past, since he turned against the militants,’’ Anis said. ‘’But today the militants have finally killed him.’’
A young girl was among the 12 killed, officials said. Twenty-five wounded people were rushed to a hospital, police officer Abdul Sattar Khan said.
Khan Zamir was buying goats when the explosion ripped through the street.
‘’That place turned into hell where the dead and injured were lying everywhere and blood and flesh were spread around,’’ he said, adding two of his relatives were badly wounded.