Several dead in Pakistan suicide blast

At least 18 people killed by explosion in the cantonment area of the northwestern town of Nowshera.

    The injured were taken to a hospital in Peshawar after a bomb exploded at a bakery in Nowshera [AFP]

    A suicide bomber has attacked a bakery in northwest Pakistan, killing 18 people and wounding 40 others, local police say.

    Liaquat Ali Khan, a police official, says the attack occurred late on Sunday in a neighbourhood where army personnel live in the town of Nowshera.

    It was the second bomb blast of the day. An earlier attack killed six people at a bus stop in the Matani area, also near the northwestern city of Peshawar. Local police said the bomb seemed like it had been planted there.

    Rescue workers and police combed the site strewn with debris from the explosion while the injured were taken to hospitals for treatment.

    Local TV footage showed the twisted truck and other damaged vehicles scattered at the scene, while rescue workers rushed away the wounded.

    Witness account

    Malik Asif, a witness, said: "I was about at a distance of 30 yards when this blast occurred. I rushed here and I saw a woman lying here, and a man was lying on the other side. I picked them up," he said.

    "There was smoke everywhere. I saw many other wounded lying there. Two of them died. They were confirmed dead. The other two, who were taken to hospital were with blown up body parts, they would have also died."

    No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but since the May 2 raid that killed al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in the Pakistani city of Abbotabad, the Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsiblity for a wave of other attacks in the country.

    Sunday's blast also followed reports that another top al-Qaeda leader, Ilyas Kashmiri, had been killed in a recent American missile strike along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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