Pakistan bus blast kills 19

2013-09-27 17:43
Pakistani security officials examine the wreckage of a destroyed bus after a bomb explosion on the outskirts of Peshawar. (A Majeed, AFP)

Pakistani security officials examine the wreckage of a destroyed bus after a bomb explosion on the outskirts of Peshawar. (A Majeed, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Peshawar - A bomb exploded in the back of a bus carrying government employees in northern Pakistan on Friday, killing 19 people and wounding dozens, officials said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but militants battling the government in northwestern Pakistan often target troops, officials and symbols of the state.

Friday's attack took place as the bus was travelling through the outskirts of the city of Peshawar, the provincial capital. It was carrying employees at the end of the work week back to their home city of Charsadda.

The explosion also wounded 46 people, said police officer Arif Khan.

Last year, at least 18 people were killed in the same neighbourhood in a similar attack on a bus carrying government employees to Charsadda.

A school teacher Haroon Khan was critically wounded during that attack but recovered - only to die during Friday's blast, the officer said.

Pakistani television showed images of the bus with its tail end completely mangled.

One witness, who was not identified, told Pakistan's Geo Television channel that he was driving his car behind the bus when the blast ripped open the back end. He said people riding on the roof of the bus - a common sight in this country's overcrowded traffic - were thrown to the side.

One of the injured passengers speaking from his hospital bed said he was on his way to his village when the bomb went off.

"I was sitting in the bus, and all of us were chatting when suddenly a powerful blast shook us, and something hit me in the chest," said Mehboob Ali, 42, speaking from a hospital bed.

Talk with militants

Militants in northern Pakistan who are trying to overthrow the government and establish a hard-line Islamic state have been waging war in the northwest against the military.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif came into office in June with a promise to open negotiations with the militants to end years of conflict.

But the talks seem to have gone nowhere so far, and the militants have continued with attacks such as the one on Friday.

Last Sunday, two suicide bombers attacked a church in Peshawar, killing dozens of Christians. Militants in northwestern Pakistan also killed a Pakistan Army general earlier in September.

Many in Pakistan support talks with the militants whom they see as fellow Muslims unfairly targeted by the military at the behest of the US government. Washington has repeatedly urged the government to deal with militants in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan to the west.

University student Hazrat Bilal, 23, was wounded in Friday's the blast. He urged the government to hold peace talks with the militants.

"If the peace talks fail, then the government must take firm action against these militants," Bilal said.

Read more on:    nawaz sharif  |  pakistan

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.