The Taliban have struck again in Pakistan’s northwest, in a bombing today at a Peshawar supermarket. Dawn is reporting that 34 people have been killed, while SAMAA is reporting 35 killed, with more than 100 wounded. Many of those killed were “severely burnt” according to SAMAA. The death toll may rise as more people are thought to be trapped under the rubble, and many of those wounded are said to be in critical condition.
The attack clearly was designed to draw people to the major, secondary bombing. A small initial blast attracted a crowd, and was immediately followed by a far more powerful bomb that killed the Pakistanis. The Taliban haven’t taken credit for the attack as of yet, and given that plenty of civilians were killed, they may not (update: the Taliban have denied responsibility for the attack, and claimed it was “an attempt by foreign secret agencies who are doing it to malign us.”) The excerpt below is from Dawn:
Twin bomb blasts minutes apart ripped through a crowded supermarket killing at least 34 people and injuring more than 80 in Peshawar late Saturday.
The explosions took place in the Khyber Super Market, which is surrounded by residential flats for students, shops, a fruit juices kiosk and a hotel.
“At least 34 people were killed and more than 80 injured in the blasts,” senior local police official Ijaz Khan told AFP, saying the blasts were only four minutes apart.
“The first blast was quite small but as people gathered close to the site of the explosion, the second one, which was real big one, went off,” he said.
The provincial information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain told reporters in Peshawar that “a few journalists were also injured in the blasts”, without providing details.
The Taliban have carried out five other major attacks in the past week; four of them were in the Peshawar area. On June 8, the Taliban killed four people in a bombing in Matni in Peshawar and two people in Dir. On June 6, a Taliban suicide bomber killed 18 people in an attack at a bakery in Nowshera. On June 5, the Taliban killed six more people in a bombing, again in the Matni area of Peshawar. And on June 4, the Taliban gunned down three security personnel and two women in Peshawar.