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Six killed as vehicle-borne bomb goes off at workshop in Peshawar

24 January, 2014

PESHAWAR: Six people including two children were killed and seven injured in a bombing in Peshawar on Thursday, officials said. Nobody has so far claimed responsibility for the blast, which follows a recent surge in Taliban violence targeting the military.

"Six people including two children were killed and seven injured when an explosives-laden car, parked at a motor workshop on the outskirts of Peshawar, blew up," senior police official Najeeb Ur Rehman told AFP. "Around 25 to 30 kilogrammes of explosives were used in the blast", he added. A spokesman for the Lady Reading Hospital confirmed the casualties and said two of the inured are in critical condition.

"Six people were killed when a bomb inside a parked vehicle went off," Rescue 1122 worker told reporters at the site of the blast near Scheme Chowk on Kohat Road. The explosion also damaged five other vehicles parked in the workshop. Doctors at Lady Reading Hospital were treating nine people for wounds, the hospital said. "One person succumbed to his wounds in the hospital, while five others died on the spot," it added. Police are investigating whether the bombing was targeted at the workshop or if the bomb went off accidentally and was meant to be detonated someplace else.

An AFP correspondent at the scene said flesh and blood was scattered around the area, and vehicles nearby had also been destroyed. On Tuesday jets and helicopter gunships engaged in one of the heaviest bombardments in recent years in North Waziristan. The air strikes came a day after a Taliban suicide bomber killed 13 people in a blast near army headquarters. Last Sunday a vehicle-borne bomb killed 26 paramilitaries in Bannu.

"The vehicle was brought to the workshop for repair," an eyewitness told investigating police officers, who were also joined by the Pakistan Air Force Police. The site of the blast lies close to a PAF base which is not operational but still maintained for logistical purposes. "Between 25 and 30 kilogrammes of explosives were used in the blast," a Bomb Disposal Squad official said.

"The car was parked in the motor workshop for the last two days and we are not sure if the workshop was the actual target" Najeeb said. Shahid Ullah, 40, who owns a nearby drinks shop said he was chatting with a friend outside his shop when the blast occurred. "There was a loud bang and I saw huge flames coming out of the motor workshop and then I fell to the ground," he said. Meanwhile, BDS personnel defused a five-kilogramme bomb planted under the under-construction Mufti Mehmood Flyover, near Radio Pakistan station.

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