Bus bombing leaves 18 dead in Pakistan
PESHAWAR, Pakistan — A bomb exploded aboard a bus carrying local government officials in northwestern Pakistan on Friday, killing at least 18 people and wounding dozens of others, officials said.
The attack in Peshawar, the capital of Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, occurred as the government workers were returning to their homes outside the city for weekly Friday Muslim prayers. It was the second deadly attack in less than a week in Peshawar, where residents are still grieving after 85 people were killed at a Christian church there Sunday.
Sahibzada Mohammad Anis, commissioner for Peshawar, said it appeared that a bomb had been planted on the bus.
In addition to the fatalities, hospital officials said, at least 42 people were injured.
Tahir Ali, 39, a local farmer, said he ran to the scene after hearing the explosion and found the rear of the bus nearly sheared off. “I saw destroyed seats, bloodstains and pieces all around,” he said. “There were dead bodies and injured people on the bus crying for help.”
Shabir Khan, 31, who witnessed the explosion, said about 100 people were on the bus at the time.
By nightfall, there was still no claim of responsibility. A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban said he was not aware of any of the group's members being involved. But the attack appeared likely to become another flash point in the debate in Pakistan about how to combat a growing terrorism threat.
Although Islamabad and other central areas remain relatively secure, militants thrive in western areas near Pakistan's border with Afghanistan. But Karachi, the country's largest city, main seaport and economic hub, is also combating a string of killings and kidnappings by militants or criminal gangs. And officials worry about a growing threat from Islamist extremists in rural areas outside the eastern city of Lahore.
For years, Peshawar has endured some of the worst acts of violence.
In an attack that stunned the nation, two suicide bombers detonated powerful explosives outside a historic Protestant church after services ended Sunday. The attack, which killed 85 worshipers and injured more than 120, is believed to have been the deadliest attack on Christians in Pakistan's 66-year history.
The Taliban leadership in Pakistan distanced itself from the church bombing. But a Taliban-linked Sunni extremist group, Jundallah, said it had carried it out to protest U.S. drone strikes on Pakistani soil.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- It’s not a small world after all: Global population estimated to soar
- Ukraine’s pleas for lethal aid not heard
- Blasts kill dozens in Baghdad area
- 21 massacred in Mexico, witnesses say
- Yes or no? Scotland begins to tally vote on whether to split with England, Wales
- Russia’s business world rattled by arrest of oil tycoon Yevtushenkov
- Obama, generals part ways on ground war in Iraq
- Study: Ocean algae can evolve fast to adjust to climate change
- U.S. to tighten financial vise on Russians
- Scientists snatch giant opportunity
- Al-Qaida’s South Asia wing claims 1st big strike