On Wednesday morning, a powerful bomb exploded in a bus that was carrying government employees in Peshawar in Pakistan. At least 16 people are dead and 30 others are injured. The death toll could rise as the condition of most of those injured was said to be critical. Eight of the injured have been admitted in the Intensive Care Unit.
The blast took place when the vehicle carrying 50 people reached Peshawar from Mardan. The bus was carrying civil secretariat employees for duty.
The dead included two women and a child.
Kashif Zulfiqar, SP Cantt said the blast was caused by an improvised explosive device (IED) planted inside the bus.
About 8 kg of explosives were used in blast, he added.
“The top part of the bus has blown off and is being cut to pull out the injured,” an eyewitness was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune.
Fear and panic spread among residents in the wake of the explosion.
The security forces have cordoned off the area and have begun a search operation.
In the past, Peshawar has seen scores of attacks on civilians as well as law enforcement personnel.
One of the worst attacks in the city in the recent past was the attack on December 16, 2014 when seven Tehrik-i-Taliban gunmen stormed into the Army Public School and killed more than 130 children.
The Northwestern city is the home to the XI Corps, an administrative corp of the Pakistan Army, which manages all military activity in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and is currently engaged in a full-blown operation against militants in North Waziristan.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has strongly condemned the attack and expressed grief on the loss of lives.
“These cowardly attacks cannot shatter our unflinching resolve against terrorism,” Sharif said after the attack.
So far no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
(With inputs from agencies)