At least 35 people were killed and over 100 others injured when twin bomb blasts ripped through a busy market here, the latest in a series of terror attacks that have rocked Pakistan after the killing of al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden near Islamabad.
The second of two explosions in northwest Pakistan was carried out by a suicide bomber who detonated his explosive vest when a large number of people gathered after the first blast, police said on Sunday.
The first explosion at Khyber Super Market in Peshawar late Saturday night was a low-intensity one caused by a timed device hidden in the bathroom of a hotel.
The second blast was triggered by a suicide bomber on a motorbike, bomb disposal squad chief Shafqat Malik told reporters. Police said they had found the head and body parts of the bomber.
The attack, one of the deadliest since the May 2 killing of Osama bin Laden in a US raid, occurred in an area with popular eateries, hostels for students and residential flats.
A journalist was among the dead. Over 100 people, including eight policemen, were injured, some of them seriously. Police said the suicide bomber struck when a large crowd, including reporters, policemen and rescue workers, had gathered in the market after the first blast.
Taliban deny involvement
Though al Qaeda and militant groups have vowed to avenge bin Laden’s killing with attacks in Pakistan and the US, the Taliban denied they were involved in Saturday’s attack.
Taliban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan told reporters in the northwest that his group was not behind the attack in Peshawar. He claimed his group targeted only the security forces and not innocent people.
Three persons, including a teenage boy, were injured when an explosive device went off beside a road on the outskirts of the Pakistani capital on Sunday, police said.
The blast occurred at Malpur village near Bahra Kahu area.
Police officials said the device was buried near the road under bushes and garbage.
A man and his 16-year-old nephew, who were on a motorcycle, and a motorist were injured, they said.
Rescue teams, a bomb disposal squad and policemen rushed to the spot, officials said.
Police said they are trying to ascertain the nature of the blast.
18 miners abducted
Eighteen coal miners were abducted during a raid by about 100 Taliban militants in the Darra Adam Khel region of Pakistan’s restive northwest.
The militants of the Tariq Afridi faction of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan conducted the raid in Akhorwal area in Darra Adam Khel late on Friday night, media reports said on Sunday.
The militants initially abducted 26 miners, some of whom were armed. Some of the miners put up a resistance, fired at the militants and escaped from their custody.