Pakistan Bus Bomb Kills Nine, Wounds Seven More

A bus bomb killed nine people in Pakistan and wounded seven more on Saturday. The bombing took place in Peshawar in northwestern Pakistan.

The attack happened while the bus was traveling through a busy marketplace in one of the city’s suburbs on its way to a nearby town. Among the injured were several women and children.

The dead and injured were transported to a government hospital. Bus driver Jehanghir Kahn, who was not hurt in the bombing, told reporters that the explosive device was planted under a seat. He explained:

“I didn’t see any suspicious person. I don’t know who planted this bomb. I was passing through the bazar of Matni when I suddenly heard the blast.”

It was estimated that about four to five kilograms of highly explosive material was used. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack so far.

Along with killing and injuring several passengers, the Pakistan bus bomb also caused damage to nearby shops. One shopkeeper injured in the blast, Asad Khan, 18, recalled, “I was going to buy some milk when a huge blast took place. It was so powerful that it threw me back into my shop.”

An intelligence official in Peshawar suggested that Saturday’s attack may be a reaction to a new military push taking place in the Tirah valley of the Khyber tribal district. The Pakistan army is currently fighting Taliban and Lashkar-e-Islam fighters there. Military officials announced that fighting in the region has killed 23 soldiers and 110 gunmen in the past week.

The bus bombing also happened just hours after gunmen blew up the election offices of a candidate in North Wazirstan, a tribal district. That bombing added to concerns that violence may take center stage at the general elections on May 11.

Pakistan has been the subject of increasing violence this year, including an attack on an electricity plant last month in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The attack killed seven people and disrupted power to 100,000 people overnight.

It is not yet clear if anyone will take responsibility for the latest bombing in Pakistan.

[Image via Stuart Orford]