Blast In Pakistani Market Kills 16

 @AmruthaGayathri
on December 17 2012 5:33 AM
Bomb blast
A man looks into a car, which was damaged during a bomb attack in Peshawar Dec. 17, 2012 REUTERS

A car bomb blast in a market in the Khyber tribal region of northwest Pakistan Monday killed at least 16 people and wounded several others news agencies reported citing Pakistani authorities.

The explosion took place at the market in Jamrud, the main town in Khyber, near the offices of the tribal administration, close to the Afghanistan border.

Pakistani television showed pictures of pools of blood and charred debris from cars and trucks damaged in the blast.

A security official who spoke to Reuters said it was not clear if the blast had been caused by a suicide attacker or a planted bomb.

No militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which came a day after a fierce gun battle in the outskirts of Peshawar, between security forces and militants responsible for an abortive attempt to storm the Bacha Khan International Airport. The airport, which also houses the Pakistan Air Force base, is located just about 10km (six miles) east of Jamrud town.

At least, 10 Pakistani Taliban fighters and a policeman were killed in the clashes.

The banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan had earlier claimed responsibility for the assault on the airport, with spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan threatening more attacks.

“We have planned more attacks on Pakistani forces and their installation as they work to please the US,” Ihsan was quoted as saying in phone calls to news agencies.

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said troops had been on high alert as some of the militants involved in the airport attack had escaped after the area was surrounded by troops.

Jamrud is known for infighting amongst various militant factions, and has witnessed several army offensives against the militants in the past.

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