At least fifteen people were killed and more than 30 people were injured when a bomb exploded on a bus carrying government employees of Pakistan in the Peshawar City on Wednesday, officials said. Dawn has reported that the severity of the blast is unknown and the toll is to rise further. The injured were transferred to Lady Reading Hospital. Emergency has been declared and all doctors have been called in to handle trauma.
According to hospital reports, most of the killed and injured were from Malakand, Mardan and Charsadda.
The incident took place on Sunehri Masjid Road which is nearby to Gulbarg Number One, Nauthia Qaldīm and Gulbarg Number Two. Sunehri Masjid Road is also close to Qayyum Stadium, Sadr Bāzār and Ziārat Pir Hazārat Sultan. The bus was coming from Shergarh in Maradan.
The attack took place in an area where Pakistani security forces have stepped up their fight against the Taliban and other militant groups along the border with Afghanistan. This followed the massacre of 134 children at an army-run school in Peshawar in December 2014.
Rescue workers at the site were seen taking the injured form the blue bus and carrying them out on stretchers to waiting ambulances. Other injured were scattered near the site and some were picked up by rescue workers on their shoulders.
Bomb Disposal Squad officials were quoted saying that around 10 kg of explosives were planted on the bus and that the investigation is still in process and they are likely to get more details in few days after further investigation.
“The blast was caused by a timed-improvised explosive device (IED) planted in a tool box inside the bus,” Superintendent of Police (SP) Cantonment Kashif Zulfiqar said. “It’s premature to comment about the nature of the blast but it appears that explosives were planted inside the bus,” Kashif said further. “There were 40-50 people on the bus.”
Attacks have fallen since the government crackdown after the 2014 school attack and the Taliban have been squeezed into small pockets of territory. However, militant groups remain able to launch sporadic attacks on security forces and civilian targets.
Two Pakistani employees of the U.S. consulate in Peshawar and some soldiers were killed by a bomb while on a drug-eradication mission earlier this month. Many Pakistan Officials were quoted saying this as a shameful act.