Multiple Blasts, Gunfire in Peshawar, 38 Killed in Timergara
Shortly after 35 people died in suicide bomb attack at a political gathering in Timergara, Pakistani city of Peshawar was rocked by multiple blasts and gunfire near the US consulate and highly sensitive military installations, said media reports.
A suicide bomber struck at a political gathering at Timergara in Lower Dir district, which killed 38 and injured 100 others, reports said.
The gathering was organised by the Awami National Party to celebrate the federal government’s decision to rename the North West Frontier Province as Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa.
Few hours later, multiple blasts took place in Peshawar.
Police and witnesses said that bombs went off in quick succession close to the US consulate, reports said.
Earlier reports had said that two people were killed and eight others injured in the multiple blasts, however later reports said that many people died.
According to Pakistani media reports, the façade of the US consulate was damaged in the blast, and those injured in the blast were rushed to hospital, reports said.
Reports said that rescue workers carried at least one wounded man away on a stretcher, his clothing soaked with blood.
An eyewitness said that two blasts were car suicide attacks and one of the bomber rammed an explosive laden vehicle into a security check post, said reports.
Local TV footage showed security personnel assuming defence positions on the road outside consulate and one soldier hitting the ground in the middle of the road and starting firing as a large blast sent up a plume of gray smoke close-by, reports said.
“We can confirm there has been an attack at the US consulate Peshawar facilities,” US embassy spokeswoman Ariel Howard was quoted as saying by AFP.
However, he couldn’t provide any details about the nature of the attack, possible damage or casualties, AFP reported.
A total of three explosions occurred within 20 minutes in Saddar area, situated near the cantonment in Peshawar, said reports.
The first blast took place at nearly 1.15 pm near the building of the State Life Insurance Corporation, said reports.
The second blast, as Pakistani TV channels footage showed, occurred in an area where a large number of cars were parked and was followed by the sound of heaving firing, reports said.
The third blast went off about five minutes later, said reports.
Several ambulances were seen taking the injured away from the site of the blasts, which was cordoned off by a large number of soldiers.
The media was reportedly asked to delay information to avoid compromising security.
Police officer Aziz Khan said that gunfire was also heard near the heavily guarded and fortified building in Peshawar, reports said.
(Based on internet reports)