Eleven People were killed and 23 others sustained serious injuries when a car bomb rocked a busy market in Salarzai tehsil of Bajaur Agency on Thursday.Twenty shops, five houses and several vehicles were also destroyed in the blast. Locals said the car bomb went off at the centre of the busy market owned by Shahabuddin Khan, the chief of Salarzai Qaumi Lashkar and a former member National Assembly from the agency.
“Despite the situation is not clear so far and the administration is investigating the incident, it seems that it was an improvised explosive device (IED) blast which the miscreants had planted in the market, said an official of the Bajaur Levies Force. He said target of the blast was the leaders and volunteers of the local peace committees who were present there at the time of the blast; however, they remained safe.“No member of the Salarzai Qaumi Lashkar or the peace committee was killed and all the victims are the common people,” said Shajan Khan, a resident of the area. “I was on routine duty at another market, few metres away from the site, when I heard the blast,” said Gull Wali, a volunteer of the local Peace Committee Pashat. “It was a car bomb because the explosion occurred just after the pickup entered the market from the upper area,” he said.Sultan Khan, who was injured in the blast, said he was at his shop when the bomb exploded.“I was at my shop attending the customers when explosive device planted in a pickup went off with a big bang,” he said, adding several shops and houses were destroyed in the blast.Residents of the area said local shopkeepers, volunteers of the Salarzai Qaumi Lashkar and the local residents rushed to the blast scene and started rescue activities. “The official of the local administration along with dozens personnel of Bajaur Levies Force also reached the spot soon after the incident and assisted in the rescue work,” Assistant Political Agent Tariq Khan said.The injured were shifted to the Agency Headquarters Hospital Khar. Several critically injured were also referred to Peshawar.“Thirty victims of the blast were shifted to the Agency Headquarters Hospital Khar, in which Eight were the dead bodies while 23 were the wounded,” Medical Superintendent of the AHQ Khar, Dr Riaz Khan, told reporters.According to the official of the AHQ Khar three children aged between 6 to 11 were among the dead while five kids sustained injuries in the incident.The administration has launched investigation into the blast and a committee has been formed in this regard.“The administration was very concerned about today’s tragic incident occurred in the main area of tehsil Salarzai, and a committee has been set up to probe the matter, PA Bajaur Sayed Abdul Jabar Shah told reporters.PA Bajaur visited the AHQ Khar and extended financial assistance to the wounded saying, “Such incidents would not be tolerated in the area in future.No group had claimed responsibility for the attack till filing of this report. TTP spokesmen Ihsanullah Ihsan called reporter from an undisclosed location and said the group had no concern with Thursday’s blast. “TTP has never targeted the common people at the public places,” he said.