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Islamabad : At least 15 people were killed and 25 others injured in a bomb blast in a bus in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Wednesday morning, a media report said. The blast occurred near Peshawar's Sunehri Masjid. The area was cordoned off and the injured transferred to the Lady Reading Hospital, where an emergency has been declared, a police official said.
The bus was carrying passengers from Mardan city to Peshawar. A TV footage showed a severely damaged bus after the blast and the injured trooping out of the vehicle. The official said the bomb was planted in the rear portion of the bus. Bomb Disposal Unit personnel claimed that a high-grade explosive weighing eight kg was used.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak condemned the blast and directed for proper medical care to the injured, an official said. Khattak said government employees were travelling in a privately-operated bus and that the government cannot ensure security of private vehicles.
Expressing grief over the loss of lives, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also strongly condemned the blast. Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan also condemned the explosion and asked the provisional government to provide excellent medical care to the injured.
The explosion comes a day after Pakistan military said that the army was about to conclude the military offensive in North Waziristan's Shawal valley. Despite implementation of the 20-point National Action Plan to combat terrorism, there have been multiple attacks in the country since the beginning of the year.
In January, Pakistan witnessed another Army Public School-style attack on Charsadda's Bacha Khan University, engineered by the mastermind of the horrific December 16, 2014, massacre. Since then, there have been numerous attacks targeting security forces' convoys and checkposts.
The most recent attack was witnessed in Charsadda's Shabqadar area, an attack claimed by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan's splinter group Jamatul Ahrar. The group claimed the attack had been carried out to avenge the hanging of Mumtaz Qadri, the killer of former Punjab governor Salman Taseer.
On the other hand, official reports claim there have been thousands of intelligence-based operations, and scores of militants have been arrested and eliminated as per the implementation of the National Action Plan. (IANS)