Saturday, May 16, 2009

Car bomb blast kills 11 in Peshawar

PESHAWAR: A car bomb ripped through a packed street in Peshawar and killed 11 people, including women and children, near an ice cream shop and Internet cafe Saturday, officials said.

The blast exploded in the densely populated Kashkal area of Peshawar.

‘We were sitting in our showroom when there was a huge blast took place,’ Mohammad Anis, the owner of a nearby car showroom, told AFP.

‘When I came out, I saw fire and smoke everywhere around me. The first thing that I saw was this,’ he added holding out a bloodied severed hand that had been ripped from an arm by the force of the explosion.

Gunshots were fired shortly after the bomb exploded and Anis said private security guards who had been sitting in his showroom, accompanying their bosses, ran outside and opened fire into the air in the wake of the blast.

Raw pieces of flesh, such as fingers, a foot and limbs were flung across the site shrouded in acrid black smoke, said an AFP reporter.

About 17 cars were damaged in the blast and five of them caught fire. The car in which the apparently timed device was planted blew to pieces and only a portion of its engine remained intact, the reporter said.

People clutching wounds as blood seeped through to their white traditional shalwar kamiz outfits walked around in a daze at the hospital as others lay wounded in bed, according to television footage.

‘We received nine dead bodies. Two more people expired later,’ Doctor Hameed Afridi at the main government hospital in Peshawar told AFP.

‘The condition of two people among the 31 injured is serious,’ he added.

The list of casualties signed by Afridi showed that two women, five men and four minors aged eight to 17 years old were among the dead.

Police had earlier confirmed that nine people died.

‘Nine people were killed and 20 others wounded in the explosion,’ local police official Abdul Gahfoor told AFP.

He said it was a car bomb, which damaged more than a dozen vehicles and a nearby Internet cafe.