At least 20 killed in powerful blast in Peshawar
Islamabad, Dec 5 (PTI) At least 20 people, including three children, were killed and about 40 others injured in a powerful bomb blast targeting a prayer hall of the minority Shias in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar today.
The blast took place outside an Imambargah in the congested Kucha Risaldar area of the walled part of Peshawar.
Local TV channels reported that at least 20 people died in the blast which occurred in the evening hours when Shia shoppers crowded the area ahead of the Eid-ul-Azha festival.
About 25-30 kg of explosives were used in the huge blast, which damaged nearby houses, police said. The explosion also triggered a fire in shops and warehouses in the area and caused a power outage, hampering rescue work.
The explosives were believed to have been hidden inside a vehicle. The blast also damaged windowpanes over a wide area.
Reports said three children and four women were among the dead. The injured were rushed to nearby hospitals where emergency has been declared.
Although no group claimed responsibility for the attack, the attack is believed to be a joint act of Sipah-e-Sahaba, a militant sectarian organisation, which along with Jaish-e-Muhammad and Laskhar-e-Taiba provides foot-soldiers to Taliban and Al-Qaeda. There have been several instances of Shia prayer halls being targeted in Peshawar and other parts of the North West Frontier Province in the past few months.