At least 33 people dead, over 80 injured in third major bombing to strike Peshawar in a week.
At least 33 people were killed and over 80 injured after a powerful explosion ripped through Peshawar’s Qissa Khawani Bazaar on Sunday morning—the third such bombing in the city in the past week.
“The blast killed at least 33 people and wounded more than 80 others,” top local administration official Sahebzada Muhammad Anis told AFP. Arshad Javed, chief executive of the Lady Reading Hospital, confirmed the death toll. “The toll is expected to increase,” Javed told Newsweek.
Local officials said the blast took place near a police station but they did not initially believe the station was the intended target. “Police station does not seem to be the target as it was away from the attack site,” bomb disposal chief Shafqat Malik said. “It looks like the market was the target,” he added.
Malik said over 200-225 kilograms of explosives were planted inside a white Toyota Corolla car, which was then parked near the police station. It was a remote-controlled blast, he said. “The vehicle had been fully converted into a bomb,” he said, adding, “The militants used artillery shells as shrapnel in the bomb.”
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the blast, saying those involved in the deaths of innocents were devoid of humanity and religion. He also said that such barbaric acts of terrorism could not deter the government’s resolve to ensure peace in the country.
Sunday’s attack was the third major bombing to strike Peshawar and its suburbs in the past seven days. Last Sunday a twin suicide attack at a Peshawar church killed 82 people, triggering countrywide protests by the Christian community and members of the civil society demanding better protection for Pakistan’s minorities. On Friday, a powerful bomb tore through a bus carrying government employees on the edge of Peshawar, killing 18 people.