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Car blast kills 30 in Pakistan's Peshawar

A CAR bomb blast on Friday killed at least 30 people in the northwest Pakistani city of Peshawar, the capital of North West Frontier Province (NWFP), the provincial information minister and local police said.

Police said the bomb blast took place in a bus at the Khyber Bazaar nearing the NWFP assembly in Peshawar, killing at least 30 and injuring more than 100 people. The market was shut down after the explosion.

Ambulances rushed to the blast site and joined the people to shift the injured to the hospital and emergency has been imposed in all city hospitals in Peshawar.

Police and army soldiers have cordoned off the entire area, meanwhile, the rescue efforts are underway, witnesses said.

Police said that over 100 kg of explosives were used in the attack. "The bomb was planted in a car parked in the market," NWFP Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain told reporters at the blast site.

It was not immediately clear if it was a remote-controlled device or a suicide attack. "We are investigating whether it was a suicide blast or the device was planted in the vehicle," said the minister.

Many vehicles parked nearby have been shattered completely while as many as 100 more injured people have been rushed to the Lady Reading Hospital and various other hospitals for treatment, sources added.

The dead and injured people included children, women, and elderly people, hospital sources confirmed.

The blast occurred at some time after 12:00 noon while, more causalities might be reported, official sources feared.

Apparently the bomb was planted in a white car but some witnesses termed the explosion as a suicide attack, however, no official version on the blast has appeared as yet, sources maintained.

No group claimed responsibility for the blast. But the information minister blamed the Taliban militants for the blast.

It is the second blast in Peshawar in less than two weeks.

On September 26, a car bomb in Peshawar killed at least eight persons.

"We will not bow before the terrorists," Hussain told reporters. He said he was in the provincial assembly when he heard the blast. He hinted that the building of provincial assembly could be the target.

"We have broken the back of the terrorists and now they are targeting human beings," the minister said.


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