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9 killed as suicide bomber attacks hotel in Peshawar

05 February, 2014

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PESHAWAR: Nine people were killed and around 50 injured when a suicide bomber targeted a hotel where guests – mostly Shias from Parachinar town of Upper Kurram – were staying, police and hospital officials said.

"Nine persons were killed and 50 injured in the attack," a Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) spokesman said in a statement.

All the nine dead persons had come from Parachinar while the majority of the wounded also hail from Parachinar.

Bomb Disposal Squad AIG Shafqat Malik said that six kilogrammes of explosive material was used in what he said a suicide attack inside the hotel in Kucha Risaldar.

"The bomber blew himself up inside the hotel when guests were taking dinner or tea," SP City Faisal Bukhtiar told reporters.

Nine women, five children and 36 men are among the injured, according to the LRH spokesman. Rescue workers moved all the wounded persons to the city's oldest hospital where an emergency was declared.

An AFP correspondent present at the scene said human flesh and blood was scattered on the ground.

Muhammad Shah, a 27-year-old driver from the Shia-dominated Kurram tribal area, said he had bought his cousin to Peshawar for medical treatment and was eating when the blast occurred.

"I was having a meal with my cousin and I saw a huge glow and then there was a loud bang and I felt the blood of my cousin splash on my face," he said as doctors removed ball bearings and pieces of iron from his shoulders and legs.

"I fell to the ground and when I regained consciousness I found myself in the hospital, I could not believe that I was alive," he added.

"We always stay in this hotel as this place is secure and is dominated by our people," he said.

Another AFP correspondent present at the hospital said that members of the Shia community were gathered at the hospital weeping.

"The stretchers are drenched with blood and people are crying and mourning as they see their relatives," he said.

The blast occurred at a time when the elected government had offered negotiations to the Pakistani Taliban, who have wedged a bloody campaign against the state by attacking government installations and carrying out suicide blasts in places of worship and markets.

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