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Asia-pacific

Several killed in street market blast

©

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-15

At least six people were killed in a bomb attack on a busy market in a north-western Pakistani town, police and hospital staff say. The blast is the latest in a string of attacks in recent weeks, many of them claimed by the Taliban.

AFP - At least six people were killed and 15 wounded Sunday when a bomb exploded in a market in a northwest Pakistan town troubled by Taliban attacks, police and hospital officials said.

The blast hit Dera Ismail Khan, about 300 kilometres (186 miles) south of the provincial capital Peshawar and near a district where Pakistani troops are locked in an offensive with Taliban fighters.

"According to preliminary information it was a remote-controlled bomb blast which killed six persons.... I fear the death toll may rise," Ghulam Jailani, a police official in Dera Ismail Khan, told AFP.

Officials said the bomb had been planted in a cycle rickshaw in a busy market and many people had been injured.

"We have received six dead bodies and 15 injured but we are still receiving more injured," said Mohammad Ashiq Saleem, a senior doctor in the main government hospital in the town.

Syed Mohsin Shah, the top administrator of Dera Ismail Khan, told AFP that he had heard reports that eight people had been killed and 20 injured in the blast.

Pakistan has been hit by a string of deadly bomb blasts in recent weeks, many of them claimed by the Taliban, who say they are exacting revenge for a punishing military offensive against them across swathes of the northwest.

Security forces launched their campaign in three northwest districts around the Swat valley on April 26 after Taliban fights advanced towards Islamabad.

Operations recently expanded to Bannu district -- just north of Dera Ismail Khan -- while fighter jets have also bombed militant targets in the nearby semi-autonomous tribal area of South Waziristan.

 

Date created : 2009-06-14

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