Suicide bomber kills 24 in Peshawar, Pakistan

Monday, April 19, 2010

At least 24 people were killed in two separate suicide bombing attacks in Peshawar, the capital of the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan. In the more damaging of the two blasts, a suicide bomber attacked police officials who were guarding a protest rally against frequent power cuts in the city. A schoolboy was the victim of the earlier and less damaging attack, which injured ten. These attacks take the death toll in the North-West Frontier Province to 73 in three days, after two blasts in the city of Kohat killed 49 people during the weekend.

A suspected bomber attacked the Qissa Khawani Bazaar of the city late on Monday. "Twenty-three people were killed including three police officials. At least 27 people have been admitted to the hospital," local police official Imran Kishwar told the AFP news agency. Provincial minister Bashir Bilour confirmed the toll. According to Shafqat Malik, head of the bomb disposal squad, the attack was made by a suicide bomber carrying six to eight kilogrammes (13 to 17 pounds) of explosives with him. "We have recovered the head and legs of the attacker," he commented.

"We were returning to our police station when the blast went off," local police officer Riaz Khan told Reuters news agency. "I saw bodies and limbs scattered all about when I turned around," said Khan, who was partly injured.

The blast came a few hours after a schoolboy was killed and ten people, including five students, were injured in a blast that occurred near a school. "It was an IED (improvised explosive device) planted near a shop. It was a timed device," senior police official Mohammad Karim Khan said to AFP news agency. According to Khan, "schoolchildren were the target."