Home > International News > Many dead in Peshawar explosion

Many dead in Peshawar explosion

PeshawarMore than 50 people have been killed and scores hurt by a large blast in a market in Peshawar, Pakistan. Buildings were set on fire after the blast and plumes of smoke were seen drifting over the north-western city.

Similar attacks have killed more than 200 people in recent weeks, as the army carries out an operation against Taliban militants in South Waziristan.

The blast comes as US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, begins a visit to the Pakistani capital, Islamabad. Pakistani television showed footage of burning shops in the Peepal Mandi area of Peshawar and crowds digging through rubble to rescue people.

The market mostly sells products for women, and most of the dead were reported to be women. The number of casualties is expected to rise. Hamid Afridi, head of the Lady Reading hospital in Peshawar, told the AFP news agency more than 80 people had been wounded. “We have declared an emergency in the hospital,” he said.

Police official Anwar Shah told AFP the blast had been caused by a car bomb. “It was a huge bomb blast, heard in almost all the city,” he said. An eyewitness told Pakistan’s Dawn television station his house shook when the blast happened. “I saw people taking away bodies on motorcycles and scooters and carrying bodies,” he said.

Another witness, Aqueel ur Rehman, said bodies were lying under the debris. “Several buildings and a mosque have been badly damaged while a fire has engulfed a building,” he told Reuters. The BBC’s Mark Dummet in Islamabad says the latest attack is likely to be blamed on the Taliban, who have already carried out a string of bombings in Pakistani cities since the beginning of the month.

Security has been stepped up across the country but the government still appears to be unable to stop the attacks, says our correspondent. Peshawar was the scene of the deadliest attack in Pakistan, when more than 50 people died in an explosion at an historic market.

Mrs Clinton is in Pakistan to discuss US concerns about the increasing numbers of militant attacks and the security of the country’s nuclear weapons. She has pledged extra US support in Pakistan’s fight against the militant insurgency.

Correspondents say the Peshawar blasts will comes as a violent reminder for the US of the difficult task it is facing in the fight against the Taliban, both in Pakistan and across the border in Afghanistan.

Source: GBC NEWS

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