Charsadda, 10 November 2009. More than 30 people were killed and over 50 injured in a car bombing in Pakistan’s north-western city of Charsadda, health officials said on Tuesday.
The blast occurred at a busy market in the town, which is located around 30 kilometres north-east of Peshawar, the capital of North-West Frontier Province.
‘It was a suicide bombing. The bomber was riding a Suzuki Alto car,’ district police chief Riaz Khan said. ‘We have recovered his body parts.’
Shahzeb Khan, a health official at the main state-run hospital in Charsadda, said over the phone that ‘more than 30 bodies and over 50 injured were moved here.’ He said dozens more critically injured were taken to Peshawar.
‘The death toll may rise because there are so many people who are in critical condition,’ said the health official.
Express television quoted an eyewitness as saying that the bomber rammed his car into other vehicles and push-carts at the market.
Dozens of shops and several vehicles on the road were destroyed in the blast that also snapped the power cables and shattered the windowpanes of buildings in the vicinity.
No one has claimed responsibility for the bombing but the suspicion fell on Taliban, who have intensified attacks on civilian and official targets since mid-October when the military launched a major assault in their heartland of South Waziristan – a remote district near the Afghan border.
Around 30,000 ground troops are pitched against some 10,000 guerrilla fighters in the operation that Pakistan has described as crucial for its campaign to root out rising Islamic militancy.