18 killed in bomb attack on minibus in Pakistan

A Muhammad

Peshawar, Jan 17 (PTI) A powerful time bomb rippedapart a minibus in Pakistan''s restive northwest today, killing18 people and injuring 11 others in escalating violence in theprovince.

"It was a terrorist attack," Hangu district policechief said, revising an earlier report that the powerful blasthad been caused by exploding gas cylinder.

The police chief in Jozara near Hangu, a key city inKhyber-Pakhtunnkhwa province, said that suspected militantshad planted 10 kgs explosives on board the bus.

"Preliminary reports by investigators and bombdisposal squads indicate that explosive materials fitted witha timer was placed near a gas cylinder, triggering theexplosion," Hangu district police chief said.

All the 18 passengers on board the bus were killed andmore people have been wounded critically in the high intensityexplosion.

The minibus was heading to Kohat, another city locatedclose to the restive tribal belt.

The injured were taken to a hospital in Hangu.

This was the third major incident in the area over thepast one week. Two days earlier, heavily armed Talibanmilitants barged into the house of a police woman constablenearby, killing her along with five other family members.

On Thursday, in the adjoining Bannu district, asuicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden vehicle into apolice station, killing 18 security personnel.

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