At least 17 killed as bomb rips through bus in NW Pakistan
At least 17 people have lost their lives when a powerful bomb explosion hit a bus carrying government employees in Pakistan’s troubled northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa near the border with Afghanistan.
More than two dozen others also sustained injuries in the blast near Sunehri Masjid in Peshawar, situated 150 kilometers (93 miles) west of the capital, Islamabad, on Wednesday morning. Medical sources said three women were among the injured taken to the hospital. Five of the victims are reportedly in a critical condition.
Superintendent of Police Cantonment, Muhammad Kashif, said the blast was caused by explosive material planted inside the bus, adding, “Fifteen people were killed” in the blast.
A few hours later, Jamil Shah, a spokesman for Peshawar’s main Lady Reading Hospital, told AFP that two injured passengers had succumbed to their wounds, adding, “… the death toll is now 17.”
“A total of 47 wounded were brought to hospital and many have been discharged after first aid. Five people among the 19 injured admitted are still critical,” the spokesman said.
Bomb experts on the scene said eight kilograms of high-grade explosives were used in the attack.
The explosion took place as the bus was carrying government workers from Mardan district to their offices in the provincial capital city.
Windows of nearby buildings broke due to the force of the explosion.
This is the third time that a bus carrying government officials has been attacked in Pakistan in recent years.
On May 13, 2015, at least 45 people, including women and children, were killed when an explosion destroyed a bus in the country’s largest and most populous metropolitan city of Karachi.
A similar bus attack in Peshawar killed 19 government workers and injured 44 others on September 27, 2013.