PESHAWAR: At least 10 people, including two children, were killed and 30 others injured when a car-bomb exploded in a busy commercial-cum-residential area here on Wednesday.
The Superintendent of Police (Rural) told reporters that the bomb planted in a parked car hit a van passing through the Scheme Chowk on Kohat Road in the suburbs of Peshawar.
He said the explosives might have been detonated by remote control. The target of the attack, he added, was a Pakistan Air Force vehicle going to the PAF base located near the main highway in Badbher.
Nasir, a witness, said he was passing through the area in a pick-up when a huge blast took place. There was dust and smoke all around with the victims crying for help, he said.
Local people took the injured and the bodies to hospitals.
He said most of the injured were in the van going to Dera Ismail Khan.
Siraj, an auto mechanic, told Dawn at the Lady Reading Hospital that he was going home from his workshop when the blast took place.
He said his workplace was destroyed and some of his colleagues were wounded.
“Since it is a busy place and with vehicles parked in the area we did not suspect that the car was laden with explosives,” he said.
Additional IG and head of the bomb disposal squad Shafqat Malik told newsmen that 30 to 40 kilograms of high quality explosives had been used in the attack. He said artillery shells had also been planted in the car to maximise the impact of the blast. “Yes we have found splinters of shells from the blast site,” he said.
A police official said another bomb concealed in a pushcart had been defused in the city on Tuesday night.
He said that Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan might have carried out the attack. However, the TTP or any other group did not claim responsibility till late Wednesday night.Hospital sources said that 10 of the wounded people, a woman among them, were in a critical condition. A large number of people rushed to the Lady Reading and Combined Military hospitals to donate blood.
The blast destroyed several vehicles and about a dozen furniture shops and auto workshops.
Vehicular traffic remained gridlocked on the busy Kohat Road for about an hour.
According to police, the blast was so powerful that it also damaged some nearby houses.
On Aug 31, a car bomb had killed 11 people at Mattani Bazaar.