Blast rocks Khyber bazaar, leave 45 dead
At least 45 people were killed while more than 100 other sustained serious injuries in a blast in Peshawar, the capital of North West Frontier Province before Friday Prayer, said Provincial Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain.
The type of explosion could not be determined so far but according to Police sources some unidentified terrorists planted a bomb in a car which went off with bang in Karachi market of Khyber bazaar, leaving 45 people dead and 100 other injured.
The market was shut down after the explosion. Emergency was declared in all the hospitals including Lady Reading hospital. The blast occurred some one kilometer away from NWFP Assembly.
Besides 10 other vehicles, a Passenger mini-bus traveling inside the city also destroyed in the blast. Police and rescue team arrived at the site soon after the blast and shifted the injured to hospitals. According to sources, the Lady Reading Hospital received 15 bodies and 40 injured out of which 15 are said to be in critical condition.
The intelligence agencies in a report to home ministry NWFP warned terrorist activity near to NWFP Assembly on Friday. The blast also destroyed 10 shops in the market and affected 50 others. According to bomb disposal squad, 100 to 102 kilogram explosive material was used in the blast.
President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, Quaid PML-N Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif and others condemned the blast in strongest term and vowed to free Pakistan from militancy and insurgency.
Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik has sought report from Inspector General NWFP within two days.
Provincial Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain and Senior Provincial Minister Bashir Ahmed Bilour who were in NWFP assembly at the time of blast visited the site immediately. Talking to media men, Provincial Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said the blast could be the result of operation in Khyber agency. The terrorists are taking last breath and Operation against them in South Waziristan and Khyber agency are also on cards, he said, adding that, the handful terrorists would be hunted down. We are ready to sacrifice our life, he said.
We are in a state of war and such kind of incident in future cannot be ruled out, he said. Senior Provincial Minister Bashir Ahmed Bilour has said that the masses of Province are suffering due to US in Afghanistan. US is responsible for death in Province, he said. We have never said the situation has improved 100 percent, he said while replying to a question.
Inceptor General NWFP has constituted a high level under Chief City Police Officer Peshawar for investigation of blast.