Bomb ex­plo­sion tar­gets school bus in Peshawar, two killed

The Pak Banker - - Company& -

PESHAWAR: A bomb struck a Pak­istani school bus on Mon­day, killing a me­chanic, school boy and wound­ing two chil­dren as they were be­ing dropped home af­ter class in the north­west­ern city of Peshawar, po­lice said.

It was the fifth bomb­ing in Pak­istan since last Mon­day as the coun­try steps up se­cu­rity for the holy month of Muhar­ram, which typ­i­cally sees a rise in sec­tar­ian ten­sions and attacks on Shia Mus­lim re­li­gious pro­ces­sions.

The ex­plo­sion ripped through the con­gested Bhana Marri area on the out­skirts of Peshawar. Po­lice said ini­tially that the bus driver was killed, but later iden­ti­fied the dead man as a me­chanic whose work­shop was nearby.

The driver was among up to four peo­ple treated for in­juries af­ter the at­tack.

"My house was nearby and I was stand­ing up to get down when there was a deaf­en­ing ex­plo­sion. I saw a fire­ball and heard the ex­plo­sion. I didn't know what hap­pened af­ter that," said nine-year-old Imam Gulzar.

The fourth-grader spoke to AFP at Peshawar's Lady Read­ing Hos­pi­tal, where she was be­ing treated for mi­nor in­juries.

The win­dows of the bus from the Is­lamia Model School - a fee-pay­ing English-lan­guage school - were punched out in the blast, the ve­hi­cle black­ened by fire and a nearby shop dam­aged in the blast, said an AFP re­porter.

Driver Go­har Ali said there were only two girls left on the bus be­cause all the oth­ers had al­ready been taken home.

"While I was en route to drop off the last two, there was a blast on my right-hand side. I heard it and then passed out. I don't know what hap­pened af­ter that," he said.

City po­lice chief Li­aquat Ali Khan told AFP that a mo­tor me­chanic was killed and two chil­dren wounded in the blast.

Ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial Siraj Ah­mad said the bomb was a crudely made de­vice sim­i­lar to those used to deadly ef­fect by Tal­iban mil­i­tants against US troops in neigh­bour­ing Afghanistan and govern­ment troops in north­west Pak­istan. "It was a road­side ex­plo­sion caused by an IED (im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vice). The school bus was very close by, that's why it dam­aged the bus," Ah­mad said.

"The bomb was planted (on the road­side) but we're in­ves­ti­gat­ing what the real tar­get was, be­cause po­lice also pa­trol this area," po­lice of­fi­cial Mo­ham­mad Ijaz Khan told re­porters. -PB News

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