Deadly blasts hit Pakistan cinema

Attack in Peshawar neighbourhood targeted earlier in September, comes as government weighs talks with Pakistani Taliban.

    A cinema in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar has been struck by two blasts, killing at least five people and injuring at least 20 others.

    The explosions took place on Sunday in the Picture House, as it is known locally, in Qissa Khawani Bazaar.

    Faisal Mukhtar, a senior police official, told AFP news agency that a stampede following the explosions was responsible for many of the injuries.

     

    Mukhtar also said that a "China-made hand grenade" was used in the blast, Reuters news agency said.

    Jamil Shah, a spokesman for Peshawar's Lady Reading Hospital, said three dead bodies and 31 injured people had so far been taken to the hospital. Two of the injured later died in the hospital.

    No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. Peshawar is the main city of Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which is no stranger to violence.

    The death toll is expected to rise because there were up to 150 people inside at the time of the blasts.

    Bomb-disposal staff confirmed that two grenades were thrown by people sitting at the back of the cinema.

    The neighbourhood was the target of a bombing last September that left at least 40 people dead.

    Sunday's attack happened at a time when the government of Pakistan has announced the formation of a committee to hold talks with the Pakistani Taliban, Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder reported from Islamabad.

    "There are fears in Pakistan that as the prospect for talks improve, there would be attacks to sabotage the peace talks."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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