Militant attack kills 17 on bus headed to wedding; 15 injured by car bomb at recreational facility in Peshawar

An explosion killed 17 on a bus headed to a wedding in the Mohmand tribal region. Hours later a car bomb exploded in the parking lot of a recreational facility in Peshawar, injuring fifteen.

CA Online and wire services

2009-10-24

ISLAMABAD — A blast struck a bus headed to a wedding in the Mohmand tribal region on Oct. 23. Four women and three children were among the 17 killed, according to Zabit Khan, a local government official, who said the exact cause of the blast was still not certain.

"It appears to be a remote-controlled bomb, and militants might have hit the bus mistakenly," Khan told the Associated Press.

Also on Oct. 23, a car bomb exploded in the parking lot of a recreational facility in Peshawar, the main city in the north-west. Fifteen people, all civilians, were wounded. The facility includes a restaurant, a swimming pool, a health club and a marriage hall. The sound of the explosion was heard far from the detonation and created terror among people in the surrounding neighbourhood.

"It is part of the violence we are seeing across Pakistan these days," said Mian Iftikhar Hussain, the region's information minister. While the militants claim that their targets are government authorities, many of the victims are civilians.

There have been at least nine major militant attacks this month and not all were against security or army targets, despite provisions in the Taliban Code of Conduct that Taliban leader Mullah Omer Mohamed issued last July forbidding attacks against civilians.

A week ago the Pakistani army began its offensive in South Waziristan, the region that Taliban, Al-Qaeda and their allies use as an operations and training base, in an effort to eliminate a militant threat that draws no distinction between civilian and military targets.

[AP]

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