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Pakistan bomb blast kills 35

PESHAWAR, PAKISTAN: A remote-controlled bomb blast killed 35 people and wounded more than 60 others on Tuesday in the deadliest attack in months in the Taliban-hit tribal region of northwest Pakistan.
The bomb was planted in a pick-up truck that was parked at a stand for trucks and buses at the market in Jamrud, one of the main towns of Khyber Agency.All persons sitting in the truck were killed instantly when the bomb went off, witnesses said. The town also used to serve as the main supply route for NATO forces operating in Afghanistan.
"The total number of deaths in the blast is 35 while 69 people were wounded, and of them the condition of 11 is critical," the senior administration official, Mr Shakeel Khan Umarzai, said.
Another top official in Khyber, Mr Mutahir Zeb, said the target of the attack was not immediately clear.
"According to initial information, it was a remote controlled device planted in a passenger pickup van," he said.
Pakistan's remote and lawless northwestern region is a stronghold of Taliban and Al-Qaeda operatives and other Islamist militants opposed to the government.
Insurgents largely based in the tribal border lands have carried out bomb and gun attacks killing more than 4,700 people across Pakistan since July 2007.
But the market attack was the first major Islamist militant attack in Pakistan since a suicide bomber killed 46 people, targeting anti-Taliban militia at a funeral in the northwestern district of Lower Dir on September 15.
The injured were initially taken to nearby hospitals. Those with serious wounds were shifted to Peshawar city, the capital of Khyber-Paktunkhwa province.
The blast damaged a petrol pump and several vehicles.
Reports said members of an anti-Taliban militia were passing through the market at the time of the explosion. No group claimed responsibility for the attack.
Several militant groups, including the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and Lashkar-e-Islam, are active in the region.
The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan recently warned it would carry out attacks in retaliation for operations against its fighters in the tribal belt.

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