Car bomb in market kills ‘at least 17’
A CAR bomb exploded in a crowded bazaar outside an office for anti-Taleban tribal elders yesterday in north-western Pakistan, killing at least 17 people.
The blast in the town of Darra Adam Khel was the latest to strike the troubled area near the Afghan border, indicating that militants still pose a threat to the stability of key US ally Pakistan despite government offensives against the Taleban and their backers.
No group immediately claimed responsibility, but the Pakistani Taleban have staged similar attacks in the tribal region of Darra Adam Khel to punish elders for backing security forces in offensives against militants.
The explosives-laden car was parked near the office of one of the so-called peace committees that have been formed by local elders trying to rid the area of militants, regional government administrator Fakhruddin Khan said.
It was unclear how many people were in the office at the time, but Khan said those killed included tribal elders and passers-by.
He said 40 people were wounded and the attack destroyed 35 shops and eight vehicles. The dead and wounded, including some in critical condition, had been transported to hospitals in the north-western city of Peshawar.
The region, in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, is famous for its weapons market.
Provincial information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain blamed the Pakistani Taleban, noting it had tried to kill a 14-year-old girl blogger and advocate of education for girls and critic of the Taleban. Malala Yousafzai was shot and wounded in the Swat Valley on Tuesday.
Hussain urged the federal government to consider launching a “decisive operation against terrorists” to eliminate the militants. He said: “These Taleban have killed innocent people in so many attacks. We should hit them back as early as possible to save the precious lives of girls like Malala Yousufzai.”
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Monday 20 May 2013
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