Death toll in Pakistan bomb blast rises to 29
Published Sunday, June 17, 2012
Tribesmen in Pakistan's troubled northwest mourned Sunday as the death toll from a bomb attack climbed to 29 after four blast victims died overnight in hospitals, officials said.
Private markets and all bazaars remained closed as local tribesmen held funerals to bury the dead in different parts of Khyber tribal district along the Afghan border, witnesses said.
"Four more critically injured died in hospitals overnight. The whole town is closed to mourn the deaths," Raseed Khan, a local government official, said.
A car bomb ripped through a market area in the main bazaar of Landi Kotal in Khyber tribal district on Saturday, initially killing 25 people including three children, officials said, adding that more than 50 people were injured.
Prayers were held for the dead late Saturday and Sunday, with tribal police and paramilitary providing tight security, local officials and witnesses said.
Another bomb targeting a police van killed six officers and one civilian in the northwestern city of Kohat late Saturday, police said.
Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan in a telephone call to AFP claimed responsibility for the attack on police but disowned the bazaar blast.
The Pakistani Taliban do not usually claim responsibility for attacks.
In the last five years attacks blamed on Islamist bombers have killed more than 5,000 people in Pakistan according to a tally by AFP.
US officials consider the country's semi-autonomous tribal belt a safe haven for Al-Qaeda and insurgents fighting both in Pakistan and across the border in Afghanistan.