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Explosion Kills 33 In Pakistan

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An explosion has ripped through a market in the north-western Pakistani city of Peshawar, leaving at least 33 dead and dozens wounded, officials say.

Police said they suspect the explosion was a car bomb and that it exploded in the Kissa Khwani market, with shops and vehicles set on fire.

Pakistan’s Dawn Newspaper quoted the health minister as saying that the main Peshawar police station may have been the main target.

However, bomb disposal chief, Shafqat Malik, said it appeared the blast had taken place some way from the station.

He told Agence France-Presse, AFP, that a parked car had been “converted into a remote controlled bomb”.

One shop owner, Nazar Ali, told Associated Press: “It was a huge blast that was followed by fire in vehicles. Thick black smoke covered the air and splinters spread all over. I saw people lying dead and bleeding.”

An emergency situation was declared at the Lady Reading Hospital as it received the injured, many of them badly burnt. Officials said 76 people had been hurt.

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The blast comes a week after a double suicide bombing killed at least 80 people at a church in the city.

On Friday, at least 17 people were killed in the bombing of a bus carrying government employees near Peshawar.

Peshawar, the main city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, has been hit by numerous bomb and gun attacks blamed on Taliban insurgents in recent years.

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