Pakistan: Bombings kill, wound dozens

Sept. 19, 2012 at 2:59 PM
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KARACHI, Pakistan, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- Bomb attacks in the Pakistani cities of Peshawar, Quetta and Karachi Wednesday killed as many as 22 people and wounding dozens more, authorities said.

A car bomb, apparently directed at a military vehicle, killed 10 and injured 27 Wednesday when it exploded at a busy intersection near the Badaber Air Base, formerly used by the United States for espionage flights over the Soviet Union and now operated by the Pakistani military, The New York Times reported.

"The accuracy and the timing of the bombing suggests that it was targeted," said Shafqat Malik of the Peshawar Bomb Squad.

There was no claim of responsibility, but a senior police official said, "It looks like the handiwork of the T.T.P.," a reference to Tehrik-e-Taliban-Pakistan, the Pakistani Taliban.

Bombings Tuesday killed a dozen people and injured 38 in the Quetta and Karachi, China's official Xinhua news agency reported Wednesday. Two successive explosions went off in the busy Haideri Market in attacks in the port city of Karachi, which has been ravaged by sectarian violence.

Xinhua, quoting police officials, reported at least seven people died and 25 were injured.

Pakistan's Dawn reported the blasts occurred in a predominantly Dawoodi Bohra community area. The dead included a 3-month old baby, a 12-year-old girl and a woman, Dawn said.

The Bohras are a minority in the largely Sunni-Muslim majority in Pakistan. The bombings occurred a day after the visit of Syedi Mufaddal Bhaisaheb Saifuddin, designated successor to Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin, the spiritual head of the community.

Dawn said a large number of Bohra members from across Pakistan and neighboring India had been visiting Karachi for the occasion.

The head of Karachi counterterrorism cell told the BBC the attack was "clearly targeted" at the Bohra community.

A doctor at a hospital said six of the dead belonged to the Bohra community, while the seventh was an ice cream vendor.

In Quetta, capital of Balochistan province, a suicide bomber rammed his vehicle into a passenger bus carrying Shiite-Muslim pilgrims, killing five people and injuring 13 people, Xinhua said. The report quoted an official who said the bus, coming from Iran, was hit near Mastung district.

Balochistan has a large population of Shiites, who are also a minority in Pakistan. They have been targets of such attacks in the past.

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