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Carnage as car bomb hits Peshawar

Posted by BlueDrak Thursday, October 29, 2009

At least 91 people have been killed after a huge car bomb ripped through a busy market in Peshawar, Pakistan.

The attack, which injured at least 200 others, was the deadliest to hit Pakistan this year.

Similar attacks have killed hundreds of people in recent weeks, as the army carries out an operation against Taliban militants in South Waziristan.

The blast came as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton began a visit to the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.

Mrs Clinton told a news conference the US was "standing shoulder to shoulder" with Pakistan in its fight against "brutal extremist groups".

The Taliban have denied being behind this bombing, but the government blames them for a wave of attacks apparently launched in response to the army operation against their strongholds on the Afghan border.

The BBC's Syed Shoaib Hasan in Islamabad says that few people will take the Taliban's denial seriously and they remain the major suspects for the bombing - if only because few other groups would have a motive for carrying out such a devastating attack.

The blast tore through buildings in Peshawar's Peepal Mandi market street, destroying several - including a mosque - and leaving others on fire.

The market mostly sells products for women, and most of the dead were women and children.

"There was a huge blast. There was smoke and dust everywhere. I saw people dying and screaming on the road," eyewitness Mohammad Siddique told AFP news agency.

Crowds dug through rubble to rescue people.

October 28 - At least 91 killed by a car bomb in a market in Peshawar
October 23 - At least 22 killed in three attacks in northern Pakistan
October 20 - Eight die in the twin blasts at a university in Islamabad
October 16 - Twelve die in a bombing in Peshawar
October 15 - About 40 die in a series of gun and bomb attacks
October 12 - Security convoy attacked in Swat valley, 41 die
October 10 - Militants attack army HQ Rawalpindi - 20 killed
October 9 - At least 50 die in Peshawar suicide blast
October 5 - Five killed in suicide bomb at UN offices Islamabad [bbcnews]

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