Kohat blast death toll pegged at 33, 56 injured

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Peshawar, Sep.18 (ANI): The death toll from a suicide car bomb blast that tore through a bazaar and gutted shops in Ustarzai, a small mainly Shia northwest town which lies between the garrison city of Kohat and Hangu, has risen to 33. Police sources also confirmed injuries to 56 others.

The little known Lashkar-i-Jhangvi al Almi militant group claimed responsibility for the attack.

"There are 33 dead and more than 50 injured. Twenty-five have been identified while the rest are in a very bad condition. The bodies have been completely damaged," a foreign news agency quoted a North West Frontier Province police spokesman, as saying.

Police and witnesses said that soon after the blast, Shiite youths took control of the bazaar and attacked two police vehicles with sticks and chanted slogans condemning the Taliban and the Pakistani government.

Shias account for about 20 per cent of Pakistan's mostly Sunni Muslim population of 167 million. More than 4,000 people have died in outbreaks of sectarian violence since the late 1980s. (ANI)

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