In midst of peace talks between Taliban and Pakistani government, blast at market kills 22

The Taliban condemned an attack on a fruit and vegetable market Wednesday morning outside Islamabad that left 22 dead and more than 80 injured. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the blast.
By JC Finley   |   April 9, 2014 at 9:29 AM
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ISLAMABAD, April 9 (UPI) -- A high-intensity explosion killed at least 22 people and injured more than 80 Wednesday morning when a bomb was detonated at a fruit and vegetable market outside Islamabad.

Pakistani police estimate 11 pounds of explosives were used in the attack, hidden in crates of guava fruit that came to the marketplace from different cities.

"It's an act of terror," Islamabad Police Chief Khalid Khattak stated. "At the time of the blast, around 2,000 people were present in the market." The 22 killed and 80 injured included fruit sellers, shoppers, and laborers.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes as the Pakistani government is engaged in peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban.

Pakistani Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid denied the Taliban's involvement and condemned the attack.

It is possible, retired Brig. Gen. Mahmood Shah said, "that the Taliban could carry out such attacks, which they would disown later, to build pressure on the government." If that was the case with Wednesday's market attack, "then the damage would be very serious," and similar attacks "could derail the whole process of negotiations" between the Taliban and the government.

[Washington Post]

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