MAYHEM IN JAMRUD

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At least 18 people were killed and more than 40 injured in a car bombing in the main bazaar of Jamrud tehsil of Khyber Agency on Monday.

A number of children and women were among those killed in the blast.

The blast occurred near the taxi station of Fuji Market in Jamurd bazaar. The office of the Jamrud assistant political administration was close to the site of the bombing.

Jamrud Political Tehsildar Asmatullah Wazir confirmed the dead toll at 18, saying children and women were among those killed. Six of those killed belonged to a single family.

Zulfikar, who was injured in the blast, said the bomb went off at about 10am.

Following the incident, the Khasadar Force and FC personnel condoned off the area and blocked the Pak-Afghan Road and Jamrud Bazaar for rescue operations.

Rescue teams rushed to the site and took the dead and injured to Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC) and Sherpao Hospital in Peshawar.

Hospital sources said eight among the injured were in critical condition.

The explosion destroyed several nearby shops and at least 12 vehicles.

Khyber Administration chief Mutahir Zaib Khan told reporters at the site of the blast that the explosion might be in retaliation to the successful security forces’ operation against militants in parts of Khyber Agency.

As many as 30 kilogrammes of explosives were used in the blast, he said, adding the situation was under the administration’s control.

Security sources said the militants might have targeted the Zekha Khel tribe’s taxi stand. “Zekha Khel tribe, who has been targeted earlier as well, might be the target,” a security official said.

“Zekhakhel tribe had formed a lashkar against the militants in Tirah Valley. In reaction, militants have targeted the tribe thrice so far,” he said.

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