PESHAWAR: Eleven people were killed and 13 others sustained injuries in a powerful car bombing close to a mosque in the Matani bazaar near here on Friday. Police confirmed the death of seven persons in the act of terror that occurred at around 6:30pm.
Officials at the Matani Police Station told The News that explosives were planted in a double cabin pick-up parked at a workshop near a mosque. The nearby mosque and over a dozen shops and other buildings were damaged in the powerful explosion.
Seven people killed in the blast were identified as Bilal, son of Momin, Bilal, son of Mir Zaman, Atta Khan, Tayyab Shah, Gul Jan, Tila Muhammad and Zahir Shah. The four other bodies, blown to pieces, were beyond recognition.
Thirteen victims were brought to the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar where a state of emergency was declared after the blast.The locals shifted the blast victims to the hospital before the rescue teams could arrive in Matani, located around 20 kilometres south of Peshawar city. The Matani bazaar was closed down as the police and Frontier Constabulary cordoned off the area after the explosion.
Assistant Inspector General Constabulary cordoned off the area after the explosion. Assistant Inspector General of Police Shafqat Malik, the head of the Bomb Disposal Unit, told The News that 30kgs explosives were used in the terror act. He said apart from the explosives, the vehicle was also carrying mortar shells to cause maximum damage and fatalities. The official said it seemed the target was somewhere else but the terrorists could not reach there.
Superintendent of Police (SP) Rural Peshawar Khurshid Khan said a search operation was launched in the area after the blast. There were reports that 40 suspicious persons were arrested from the area and shifted to an unknown place for interrogation.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ameer Haider Hoti condemned the attack and directed the LRH authorities to provide best treatment facilities to the injured.Peshawar witnessed such a powerful blast after a couple of months of lull. A few explosions did occur in the provincial capital during this period, but the death toll remained low.