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Car bomb blast kills 5 in NW Pakistan's Peshawar

AT least 5 people were killed in a car bomb blast today in Peshawar, the capital of Pakistan's North West Frontier Province, the provincial information minister said.

Mian Iftikhar Hussein said that dozens were also injured in the busiest area of Peshawar. A police officer said that 6 people were killed and over 40 injured in the sensitive cantonment and high security zone in Peshawar.

The explosive-filled car was parked at the parking lot of a military bank which exploded at 11:45 a.m., police said. A bank employee told Xinhua by telephone that he saw heavy smoke near the parking lot and he saw some bodies there. The security officials have cordoned off the area following blast.

Witnesses said that 10 cars in the parking lot were damaged and windows of the buildings were smashed.

No group claimed responsibility for the blast. But such blasts are blamed on suspected Taliban.

Several banks are located in the area and sources said that banks had received threats to stop interest-based banking system and that women should not visit banks.

Ambulances of the government hospitals and private aid groups rushed to the blast site and shifted the injured to hospitals.

Doctors at the Leady Reading Hospital said that 15 injured were brought there and five of them are in critical condition.

It is the second blast in Pakistan's northwest in five hours. Six people were killed in suicide bomb attack on a police station in Bannu district at 7 a.m.

The provincial information minister said that blast in Peshawaris the reaction to the military operation against the militants in the tribal regions and Swat valley.

"We will not bow to any pressure and will render every sacrifices," he told reporters. He admitted that there may be security lapse on the part of the police and investigations will be carried out and the officials will be held responsible for security lapse.

"The militants are under pressure and they are targeting Peshawar," the minister said.

Police arrested two suspects near the blast site and shifted them to police station for questioning.


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