The story appears on

Page A8

September 19, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » World

Suicide car bomb attack kills 25 in northwestern Pakistan

A SUICIDE car bomb destroyed a two-story hotel and several shops in a northwestern Pakistani town yesterday, killing 25 people in an apparent attack on the country's Shiite community, police and a government official said.

The blast on the outskirts of Kohat injured scores more just days before Muslims from both the Sunni and Shiite sects celebrate the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. It was the second attack in two days in the area, which is not far from the Afghan border and has experienced past incidents of sectarian violence.

The blast took place in the Shiite-dominated village of Usterzai. The Hikmat Ali Hotel -- owned by a Shiite -- was among several buildings destroyed or badly damaged, police official Asmat Ullah said. At least eight cars were mangled by the force of the explosion, witnesses said.

TV footage showed some of the wounded in beds and on stretchers. The men were bloodied, bandaged and seemingly in shock.

The violence underscores the relentless insecurity in Pakistan's northwestern region, which is home to the Taliban and al-Qaida. Sunni extremist groups like those believe Shiites are infidels, and their presence has fueled sectarian attacks that have long plagued Pakistan.

Pakistan has launched several offensives against extremist groups in the northwest over the past year, but attacks persist. The United States is anxious for Pakistan to clamp down on insurgents it says are behind attacks on American and NATO troops across the border in Afghanistan.

No one claimed responsibility for yesterday's attack in Kohat, a garrison town around 60 kilometers south of Peshawar, Pakistan's main northwestern city.

Area mayor Syed Mehtabul Hassan said 25 bodies were pulled out of the rubble of the hotel and nearby shops.

On Thursday, six people were wounded when a bomb planted outside a shop in Kohat exploded.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend