30 killed in Pakistan suicide blast

Islamabad,Sep 18,PTI:



The bomber targeted the Kachcha Pucca market of Kohat district in North West Frontier Province at a time when a large number of people had gathered to board coaches to travel to their hometowns for the Eid-ul-Fitr holidays.       District police chief Dilawar Bangash said the suicide attacker drove his jeep into the crowd and detonated the explosives.

Other officials and rescue workers said 30 bodies were recovered from rubble of a hotel and several shops that collapsed due to the blast. A total of 65 people were injured, some of them seriously. No group claimed responsibility for the attack. Officials said the attack might have been carried out by militants in retaliation for operations launched against the Taliban in the nearby Orakzai tribal region.

The police cordoned off the site of the blast and launched a search for accomplices of the suicide attacker. Pieces of human flesh lay scattered all over the market as black smoke engulfed the area. The powerful explosion flattened almost all the structures in the market.
Authorities brought in heavy machinery to remove the rubble. The army also joined the rescue operations. An emergency was declared in local hospitals and doctors on leave were recalled for duty. The police officials said up to 150 kg of explosives could have been used in the attack. The blast, heard from five kilometres away, caused panic in Kohat city.  
  
President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani condemned the blast and said the perpetrators of the crime would not be spared.
Zardari said the government would leave no stone unturned to find the culprits and give them severe punishment.  

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