Bomb attack kills 16, injures 70 at Pakistan market
Bomb attack kills 16, injures 70 at Pakistan market
The bomb exploded in a small market near a bus stop, killing and wounding people waiting for buses to take them across the northwest and to other parts of the country, according to officials.
Pools of blood and charred pieces of human flesh littered the roadside, along with at least 20 burnt vehicles, said an AFP reporter. Clothes, school books, children’s shoes and burqas lay everywhere.
Jamrud is in Khyber district, which is part of Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal belt where the Taleban and Al-Qaeda-linked groups have strongholds.
A government office of the district administration was around 100 meters from where the bomb detonated but was not damaged in the attack, according to an AFP reporter.
“At least 16 people were killed and 71 others wounded in the blast caused by an explosive-laden car, which had been parked very close to the waiting area for passengers,” Khyber’s most senior administration official, Mutahir Zeb, told AFP.
He said ordinary civilians and not the government office, some distance from the explosion, were the target.
“We are still are ascertaining what procedure was exactly used to blow up the vehicle,” he said.
Local administration official Jehangir Azam also confirmed that 16 people died.
“The blast also damaged 10 vehicles and more than 15 shops in the market,” Azam told AFP.
Officials had earlier said 12 people were killed.
Two intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the explosives had been packed into a Suzuki Alto vehicle.
Pakistan suffers frequent bomb and suicide attacks blamed on Islamist militant groups. Its troops have for years been fighting against homegrown armed groups in the tribal belt.
On Saturday, a suicide squad of five targeted the airport in Peshawar, the main northwestern city close to Jamrud, killing five civilians and blowing a hole in the perimeter wall.
The assault, claimed by the Pakistani Taleban, sparked prolonged gunfire and forced authorities to close the airport, a commercial hub and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) base on the edge of the tribal belt.
It was the second Islamist militant attack in four months on a military air base in nuclear-armed Pakistan.
On Sunday, a policeman and five militants were killed following gun-battles between security forces and militants suspected of having been involved in the airport attack, security officials said.
The government says more than 35,000 people have been killed as a result of terrorism in the country since the 9/11 attacks on the United States.
There has, however, been a noticeable decline in the number and severity of attacks since 2009, when the Pakistan army fought major operations against local Taleban in the northwestern district of Swat and the tribal district of South Waziristan.
According to an AFP tally there have been more than 100 bombings, killing 550 people, so far this year, compared to 203 recorded in 2009, when the death toll was tallied at 1,840.
80 nations attend terror financing conference in Paris
- Terror attacks have become increasingly low-cost since the 9/11 atrocities in the United States in 2001
- While the Daesh group faces imminent defeat on the battlefield in Syria where the last pockets of its fighters are holding out, experts warn that its ideology will live on
PARIS: Ministers from 80 countries and nearly 500 experts gather in Paris from Wednesday for a conference on combating the financing of terror groups such as Daesh and Al-Qaeda, French officials said.
Attacks have become increasingly low-cost since the 9/11 atrocities in the United States in 2001, particularly in recent years when followers of Daesh have used vehicles and guns as their main weapon of choice.
But French authorities remain concerned about a huge war-chest amassed by Daesh between 2014 and 2016 when it ruled over large swathes of oil-rich territory in Iraq and Syria.
A French presidential official briefing journalists on Tuesday said that Daesh income was estimated at about $1 billion (820 million euros) a year.
“It has been moved since, at least in part. It’s probably somewhere,” the official said on condition of anonymity. “These groups are very skilful in using sophisticated techniques to move financial resources around.”
The idea of the two-day conference, which will close with a speech by French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday afternoon, is to share expertise and good practice that can be implemented internationally.
The Daesh group faces imminent defeat on the battlefield in Syria where the last pockets of its fighters are holding out, but experts warn that its ideology will live on.
Some terror experts, including Peter Neumann from King’s College in London, have argued recently that the fight against the financing of terror groups has been ineffective since 2001.
In a report last year entitled “Don’t follow the money,” he argued that low-cost terror attacks were easy to mount and jihadist groups could transfer money easily without using the international banking system.
He will make a speech at the start of the second day of the conference on Thursday which will take place at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris.