Deadly blast in Pakistan’s Khyber district

Explosion rips through passenger van in northwestern tribal region, killing six people and seriously injuring others.

Khyber Agency

A bomb blast in northwestern Pakistan has ripped through a passenger van, killing at least six people and wounding nine others, according to local officials.

The most seriously wounded in Wednesday’s Khyber Agency blast were rushed to hospitals in Peshawar, officials said.

“The passengers were going to town for shopping. So far we can confirm the death of six people while nine others are injured,” Shakeel Khan Umarzai, a senior administration official, told the AFP news agency.

The van was carrying 15 men from Khurrakai village to Jamrud, the main town in Khyber district, when it was hit while passing through a ravine.

Of the nine injuries, three were classified as ‘serious’ by Umarzai.

“It is unclear that the blast was caused by an IED or a planted bomb in the van but explosives were used,” he

The casualty count was also confirmed by a doctor at a local government hospital where the dead and injured were transported.

“We are treating six other passengers who were wounded while three seriously injured have been shifted to Peshawar,” Mohammed Anas told the AFP.

Khyber Agency is one of seven districts in Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal belt, where Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked fighters have carved out strongholds used to plot attacks on Pakistani, Afghan and Western targets.

The UN refugee agency announced last week that more than 100,000 people, mostly women and children, had fled the fighting in Khyber since January 20.

Source: News Agencies