Security officials, rescue workers and residents clear debris at the site of the bomb attack in Peshawar yesterday.
PESHAWAR: A bomb explosion yesterday killed at least 39 people in the northwestern city of Peshawar, officials said, the third deadly strike to hit the city in the last week.
The blast took place in the Kissa Khwani market in Peshawar, gateway to the troubled tribal regions infested with Taliban and Al Qaeda-linked militants.
“The blast also wounded more than 90 people,” top local administration official Sahebzada Muhammad Anis said.
Officials said the blast took place near a police station but they did not initially believe the station was the target. “The police station does not seem to be the target as it was away from the attack site,” bomb disposal chief Shafqat Malik said.
He said, “It looks like the market was the target.” He said evidence suggested it was a remote-controlled bomb. “A car parked along the roadside was converted into a remote-controlled bomb.” There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Last Sunday a twin suicide attack at a Peshawar church killed 82 people, triggering countrywide protests by the Christian community and the civil society demanding better protection for minorities.
On Friday, a bomb tore through a bus carrying government employees on the edge of Peshawar city, killing 18 people.
Peshawar runs into the semi-autonomous tribal belt that the US considers a safe haven for Al Qaeda and insurgents fighting in Pakistan and across the border in Afghanistan. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan faction has led a bloody campaign against Pakistan, with attacks on security forces and government targets.
Two weeks ago, main political parties backed the idea of peace talks with the militants, floated by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
But attacks since then, including the killing of a senior army commander, have led many to question the strategy. Agencies