PESHAWAR, Dec 5 (APP):
A powerful bomb planted in a van ripped through a crowded Kabari bazaar situated at the backyard of historical Qisakhwani bazaar here Friday night, killing at least 22 people and wounding over 80, Medical Superintendent Khazir Hayat and local police told APP. Twenty of the wounded are in critical condition.
The explosion occurred near Imam Bargah situated inside a hotel owned by Ajhle Tashi belonging to Kurram Agency. The explosive material was believed to have been dumped in a double cabin van parked along with other vehicles in thickly populated area, which exploded with a big bang.

Over a dozen vehicles were destroyed while three huge buildings caught fire, including plastic shops. The blaze also engulfed the nearby buildings and shopping markets.

The fire brigade rushed to the site and extinguished the fire after three hours hectic efforts. Black smoke engulfed the area as victims cried for help.

The IGP Malik Naveed Khan ruled out the possibility that its target was Imam Bargah. The IGP said that around 25 to 30 kilogram explosives were used in the attack.

The police chief said the explosion has created a deep crater in ground at the venue which does not happen in suicide attacks.

He said the main purpose of the elements involved in this heinous act was to disrupt law and order. “In the prevailing conditions there is

a very strong security check in the city but it is very difficult to have foolproof check on the activities of terrorists who mingle in the general population.

The explosion was so powerful that the windowpanes of nearby buildings were blown out and the whole area plunged into darkness.

The injured were immediately rushed to LRH, Hayat Shaheed and Hayatabad Medical Complex for treatment. Emergency has been declared in hospitals and doctors on leave were called in for duty.

Dr Khazir Hayat appealed to people of Peshawar and adjoining areas to donate blood as condition of several victims of the blast was very critical. “I appeal to the residents of Peshawar to donate blood in large quantity as the condition of 15‑20 victims brought to LRH is critical,” Khasir Hayat told APP.

He said that 22 bodies were brought to LRH while more than 80 persons were being treated. He said that emergency has been enforced in the hospital and doctors on leave were called in for duty. He said that situation was under control and all major operations were successfully conducted.

The Chief Minister NWFP Ameer Haider Khan Hoti, Health Minister Zahir Ali Shah and other official were present on the occasion. Speaking

on the occasion, he said that complete prevention of suicide explosion however is difficult but can be controlled with better intelligence.

He said that police are being strengthened to frustrate the nefarious designs of terrorists. The Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan

Hoti earlier said that foreign hand could be involved in the heinous acts of suicide and bomb blasts to destabilize the region.

The Chief Minister said some foreign elements wanted to destabilize Pakistan for their vested interests. However, he said

these elements would not succeed in their nefarious designs as the nation was united against them.

He said that the explosion was of severe nature and hectic efforts were being made to extinguish the fire that engulfed the three nearby buildings. The provincial capital has been made target of a worst kind of terrorist act, he added.

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