The death toll in a suicide attack at a market in Kohat town has hit 25 while the casualties were feared to be increased further, a private TV reported. The attack occurred at Kacha Paka bazaar at Hangu road on Friday where a suicide bomber on foot detonated explosives next to a small hotel, leaving at least 25 dead and 35 others wounded. A suicide car bomb tore through a Pakistan market, killing up to 14 people and gutting shops on Friday as families stocked up on supplies for a major religious festival, police said.
The explosion destroyed vehicles and shops near a bus stop in Ustarzai, a small mountain town in the northwest which lies between the garrison city of Kohat and Hangu, another Shiite-dominant town with a history of sectarian violence, police said. The area was packed with shoppers buying food and delicacies for the weekend and the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which Pakistanis expect to start on Monday with the sighting of the new moon after the fasting month of Ramadan. "A suicide bomber blew up a car filled with explosives in the market. Ten people were killed and many wounded," said Ali Hasan, a local police officer on the ground in Ustazai. Police spokesman Fazal Naeem in nearby Kohat said: "We have recovered 14 dead bodies. Many people were wounded.
The suicide bomber was sitting in a car." Police said the attack occurred near a bus stop where passenger buses and coaches arrive and depart from other towns across northwest Pakistan, where the United States has branded Islamist militants an existential threat. Police said the explosion caused heavy damage and officers were frantically organising efforts to rescue the dead and wounded. The attack was the second in two days in Kohat, a rough town in the region bordering Afghanistan with a history of sectarian and other militant violence. A bomb wounded six people Thursday.
Heavy contingent of police arrived at the scene soon after the incident and cordoned off the site. Near 32 shops at the market caved in due to the blast's impact and the rescuers put hard efforts to pull victims from the rubble, a news agency said citing a local police official. The agency quoted local area nazim Syed Mehtabul Hassan as saying that the death have reached 25 while several others were also wounded. He says that 25 bodies have been pulled out of the rubble of the hotel and nearby shops. Emergency was declared in all the major hospitals of the city while the paramedical teams also carried out emergency relief activities at the attack site. Most of the critically injured were rushed to district hospital Kohat. Hangu Road was blockaded by the forces for all kinds of traffic following the attack. Police were collecting the remains of the bomber for DNA test. (Nation)