Bomb hits school bus in Pakistan

2010-12-13 19:02

Peshawar - A bomb hit a school bus in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on Monday, killing a passer-by and wounding two young girl students and two others, officials said.

Senior city administration official Siraj Ahmed said the bomb was placed in a dustbin at the side of the road.

"When I saw the smoke, I ran towards my teachers at the back (of the bus). The teachers said 'come, come'. So we got off the bus," six-year-old Eman, one of the wounded, told Reuters television at a hospital where she was lying on a bed with her head bandaged.

The driver of the bus, who was also wounded said the bomb went off shortly after some of the teachers stepped off: "There was a sudden explosion. After that, I did not have my senses. I fell."

Ahmed said one passer-by was killed and the driver, two girl students and another passer-by were wounded.

Two suspects were detained at the scene. A police official said the bomb may have been intended for one of the police patrols that frequently pass by the area.

Pakistan's government, which Washington sees as an ally in its war against militancy, faces a growing threat from what officials and analysts call a growing nexus of militant groups.

It's a murky mix that includes al Qaeda, Pakistani Taliban militants and other groups. Some are anti-Western while others are driven mostly by sectarian hatred.

Pakistani authorities are on alert for sectarian violence during Moharram, the holiest month for Shi'ite Muslims, which is currently under way. Sunni militant groups often attack Shi'ite gatherings during this period.

The United States wants Pakistan to go after militants who cross its border to attack Western and Afghan forces battling a Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan.