A bomb has exploded on a bus near Peshawar in Pakistan. Although no organization has come forward as the perpetrator, the incident resembles past Taliban attacks.
A bomb exploded on a bus carrying government officials in Pakistan's restive northwestern region on Friday, killing 18 people and wounding 35, according to officials.
“We all fell on the floor of the bus, and people were crying for help,” said Jalal Khan, aged 14, one of the injured parties from the incident.
“I was unable to see anything because there was a lot smoke, and I was having trouble breathing.”
The bus departed from a government building in Peshawar and was en route to the neighboring town of Charsada, according to another of the injured, who added that the bus was habitually used by both government workers and civilians.
The bomb went off when the bus was still near the city of Peshawar, claiming the lives of six women and senior police officer Tahir Ayub Khan, amongst others.
Although the Pakistani Taliban, which is currently embroiled in an insurgency against the government, has carried out countless similar attacks in the past, no group has yet claimed responsibility for the bomb.
Iftikhar Hussain, the information minister for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, of which Peshawar is the capital, said the government would continue to clamp down on the country's Taliban insurgents.
“For the sake of protecting people, we are always ready for negotiation, but if the terrorists are not ready to stop, the only option left for the government is to go for a massive operation against the terrorists wherever they are,” said Hussain.
sej/tj (APE, dpa)