Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Peshawar blast kills 34, mostly residents of Parachinar

The target of the blast, 'Saraye Alamdar-e-Karbala,' was a stay-house/motel and Imambargah in Peshawar frequented by the residents of the Kurram Agency. So far the blast has taken a toll of 34 lives, while injuring more than a hundred, including children. This is a very tragic incident, and, in the long run, may be very damaging to the recently signed peace accord in Kurram.

Death toll from Peshawar blast 34, probe begins
Daily Times, December 07, 2008

PESHAWAR: The death toll from Friday’s car bomb explosion outside an imambargah in Peshawar has risen to 34 as officials said police had launched an investigation into the attack.

Rescue workers retrieved nine more dead bodies from the debris on Saturday, SP Chaudary Asharf told Daily Times, but put the death toll at 29.

According to Lady Reading Hospital’s records, 165 victims of the blast were taken to the hospital and 34 of them were dead, while 131 were injured. Around 90 people – with 10 in critical condition – are now being treated at the hospital, the remaining have been discharged.

Twenty-one bodies have so far been identified, while 13 bodies burnt beyond recognition are being kept at the hospital’s morgue.

Most of those who died or were injured were residents of Parachinar in Kurram Agency. The imambargah, Alamdar Karbala, is also known as ‘the imambargah of Parachinar’.

Mohammad Asif, a resident of the area, told Daily Times his 12-year-old daughter died in the blast, and his house had been completely destroyed.

Meanwhile, a senior police official told Daily Times it was not yet clear whether a timed-device was placed in the car or a suicide bomber carried out the attack.

He said that the police had collected severed parts of around 10 bodies, and it was therefore difficult to say with certainty what method had been employed by the attackers.

Police officials going through the debris found the engine of the car used in the attack, and said they were trying to locate the owner of the vehicle.

Teams from the Federal Investigation Agency’s Special Investigation Group visited the site on Saturday to collect evidence.

A bomb disposal squad official told Daily Times that the vehicle was carrying more than 80 kilogrammes of explosives.

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