Blast in Pakistan`s Khyber region kills 10
Khyber is the home of a major supply route for Western troops in Afghanistan.
Peshawar: At least 10 people were killed and 20 others injured on Friday when a powerful bomb went off in a crowded market in the restive Khyber tribal region in Pakistan`s northwest.
The bomb was planted at a shop in the weekly market at Meherban Kalay village in Khyber Agency.
Local residents started rescue activities and rushed the injured to nearby hospitals.
Initial reports had put the death toll at 10, officials said. At least 20 others were injured. The nature of the blast is yet to be ascertained.
The area where the blast occurred is under the influence of the banned Lashkar-e-Islam led by Mangal Bagh Afridi.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani condemned the blast and asked authorities to inquire into the incident.
The blast went off in the Khyber, a tribal region whose security is of paramount importance to the US because it is the home of a major supply route for Western troops in Afghanistan. Pakistan`s military has mounted several operations in Khyber to drive out Taliban and other Islamist militants.
Local government official Umair Khan said the morning blast occurred in Khyber`s Tirah Valley, and that its exact cause was not immediately clear.
In recent weeks, several major suicide attacks have shaken Pakistan. An attack on Thursday killed at least five people in the Swat Valley, which is also in Pakistan`s northwest.
Last week, a pair of suicide bombers blew themselves up in the Mohmand tribal region, killing at least 102 people in the deadliest attack in the US-allied nation this year.
The attacks come as Washington is pushing Pakistan to do even more to root out militant groups that use its soil to plan attacks in Afghanistan.
(With Agencies` inputs)