[QODLink]
Central & South Asia
Dozens dead in Pakistan blast
Explosion near fuel station in northwestern tribal region kills at least 29 people, officials say.
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2012 20:59
 

A suspected bomb blast near a fuel station in the Jamrud area of Pakistan's northwestern Khyber tribal region has killed at least 29 people and wounded at least 44 others, regional government officials say.

Media reports suggested the attack targeted the Zaka Khel tribe, which has aided the Pakistani government in fighting against armed groups in the area, and was a retaliation for the killing of a Taliban leader in a recent government raid.

"It was a huge blast and caused damage to a number of vehicles at the bus terminal," Khan Zaman, a Khyber tribesman from the Jamrud bazaar, said on Tuesday.

The Jamrud area is about 25km west of Peshawar, the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. The region serves as the main supply route for NATO forces in Afghanistan and is a stronghold of the Taliban in Pakistan, al-Qaeda-affiliated fighters, and other armed groups opposed to the government.

Al Jazeera’s Kamal Hyder, reporting from the Pakistani capital Islamabad, said it was not yet clear who was behind the bombing.

"We were told the explosives were packed in a vehicle that was parked in the busy bazaar area of Jamrud. After the explosion there were heavy casualties," he said.

On January 6, the Pakistani Taliban beheaded 15 kidnapped paramilitary soldiers. A spokesman for the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan said the move was in retaliation for Qari Kamran's death, who was killed in a raid by Paksitani forces, and promised further revenge.

Pakistan has for years battled armed groups in the northwest and the tribal belt, with more than 3,000 soldiers killed in the battle against them.

Pakistani authorities recovered on Monday the bodies of 10 soldiers in an exchange of bodies with Taliban fighters following a clash two weeks ago in the tribal belt.

An official of the military's media wing said the 10 soldiers had been missing in Orakzai district since December 21, when fighters attacked a checkpoint.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.