PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AFP) – A suicide bomber on Saturday blew up a car at a crowded market in a northwestern Pakistani tribal town, killing at least 16 people and wounding 30 others, officials said.
The blast ripped through the main market in Darra Adam Khel near to a local anti-insurgent peace committee office, which officials said was the target of the attack.
“The death toll has risen to 16 and 30 others were wounded,” local government official Fakhar-ud-Din told AFP.
He said it was not immediately clear how many peace committee members were killed or wounded because the bombing occurred in a crowded street and many shoppers were victims.
Information minister for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province Mian Iftikhar Hussain said: “It was a suicide attack and the target was the local peace committee.”
Two other officials confirmed the bombing and the death toll and said some of the wounded were shifted to other cities for treatment as local health facilities were not sufficient.
Nobody immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, the officials said.
The peace committee comprised a breakaway group of former militants who ditched their Taliban colleagues and formed a militia supporting local elders and government efforts against militancy, a local intelligence official said.
Semi-autonomous Darra Adam Khel lies between the northwestern towns of Peshawar and Kohat and has experienced several suicide attacks and bombings blamed on Taliban militants.
Taliban on Tuesday shot schoolgirl rights activist Malala Yousafzai, 14, in the head as she boarded a school bus in the former Taliban stronghold of Swat. Authorities offered a reward of more than $100,000 for the capture of her attackers.