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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Police say twin bomb blasts kill 34 in Northwest Pakistan

Twin bomb blasts minutes apart ripped through a crowded supermarket killing at least 34 people and injuring more than 80 in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar late Saturday.

The explosions took place in the Khyber Super Market, which is surrounded by residential flats for students, shops, a fruit juices kiosk and a hotel.

“At least 34 people were killed and more than 80 injured in the blasts,” senior local police official Ijaz Khan told AFP, saying the blasts were only four minutes apart.
“The first blast was quite small but as people gathered close to the site of the explosion, the second one, which was real big one, went off,” he said.

The provincial information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain told reporters in Peshawar, the main city in Pakistan’s northwest, that “a few journalists were also injured in the blasts,” without providing details.

More than 4,400 people have been killed across Pakistan in attacks blamed on Taliban and other Islamist extremist networks based in the nearby tribal belt since government troops stormed a radical mosque in Islamabad in 2007.

The latest violence came hours after visiting Afghan President Hamid Karzai called on Pakistan to eradicate militant sanctuaries during “detailed” talks about a peace process with the Taliban that inaugurated a joint peace commission.

Mr. Karzai and a raft of top aides held two days of meetings in Islamabad, just weeks after US Navy SEALs killed Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan, heightening calls within the United States for a peaceful settlement in Afghanistan.

CIA chief Leon Panetta held talks Friday with top military and intelligence officials and discussed ways to strengthen future intelligence sharing, the Pakistani military said.
Peshawar Pakistan

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