Car bomb at minibus terminal in Pakistan kills 12

AP News
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Posted: Feb 23, 2012 10:05 AM
Car bomb at minibus terminal in Pakistan kills 12

Dilawar Khan's son had stopped off at his tea shop on his way back from school when a powerful car bomb exploded outside it. The 12-year-old was among the dozen killed in Thursday's blast at a bus terminal for passengers wanting to travel to the lawless border regions with Afghanistan.

The explosion tore through a dozen vehicles waiting to transport passengers from the city of Peshawar to other areas of the country. Some of the minibuses were blackened and destroyed. There were 32 wounded, including women and children, officials said.

"God should destroy these terrorists," Khan cried at a hospital in the northwestern city of Peshawar.

In the chaos, the 45-year-old shopkeeper initially thought his other son had been killed, but he turned up at home later.

"What have my sons done wrong," he said, beating his face with his hands.

Violence has dropped off in Peshawar and some other areas of Pakistan over the past year following offensives against the Pakistani Taliban in the northwest. But bombings and shootings still occur with regularity, especially in the border regions, and no one is predicting victory against the militants.

No group claimed responsibility for the blast. Some of the minibuses were blackened and destroyed. The dead included two children, including Khan's son.

Peshawar is located close to the Afghan border, the main sanctuary for Pakistani Taliban fighters at war with the government.

The car bomb was loaded with nearly 100 pounds (45 kilograms) of explosives, city police chief Siraj Ahmed said.

It's unclear why the bus terminal was targeted. Most militant attacks are aimed at security force or government targets, but markets and other public places have also been hit, presumably to create chaos and add to perceptions that the government is unable to provide basic security.