Page last updated at 20:36 GMT, Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Deadly blast hits Pakistani town


The BBC's Shoaib Hasan says the Taliban are strongly suspected of carrying out the attack

At least 24 people have been killed and more than 100 injured in a car bombing in the north-western Pakistani town of Charsadda, police say.

The blast occurred as shoppers thronged the main market in Charsadda, which lies north-east of Peshawar.

The attack is the third in as many days in North West Frontier Province.

More than 300 people have been killed in a wave of attacks as Pakistani troops launched an assault against the Taliban in South Waziristan.

Police say around 40kg of explosives had been placed in a car which then exploded outside a busy market. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The BBC's Syed Shoaib Hasan in Islamabad says ordinary citizens are increasingly being targeted in bomb attacks. Analysts believe this is because the militants are cornered and under great pressure by the military in South Waziristan.

'Terrible scene'

Eyewitnesses said the explosion was so powerful that surrounding buildings were severely damaged.


Ambulances ferried survivors to hospitals in Charsadda and Peshawar, 40km (25 miles) away.

Eyewitnesses said the vehicle blew up on a road lined with fruit and juice shops, tearing off shop roofs and leaving the ground strewn with slippers, body parts and broken push carts.

"It was a terrible scene. There were injured and wounded everywhere," one witness told reporters.

"I joined the relief and rescue operation and myself removed about a dozen casualties."

A doctor in Charsadda told AFP: "We have declared an emergency in the hospital."

On Monday, a suicide bomber killed himself and at least three people near a police checkpoint in Peshawar. A day earlier at least 12 were killed in a suicide bomb attack near the city.

Last month a massive blast at Peshawar's Peepal Mandi market killed 118 people.

The government blamed the attack on Pakistani Taliban, but the head of the group denied being behind it.

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