Provincial Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said 19 bodies had been received at Lady Reading Hospital and Charsadda Hospital following the blast. Six women and a young girl were among the dead, he said. At least five injured persons were in a critical condition, officials said. No group claimed responsibility for the blast although the Pakistani Taliban is usually held responsible for such blasts.
Security forces cordoned off the site after the blast while members of the local bomb disposal squad collected evidence. Hussain said the rear of the bus was affected the most by the explosion, and it was possible that the bomb might have been planted in the vehicle. Condemning the attack, the minister said: "Spreading fear and indulging in terrorism is the only reason for such an act. We are in favour of talks but if they (militants) refuse, we will be forced to take action against them."
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani also condemned the attack in strong words. "Such cowardly acts cannot weaken the resolve of the government to fight against extremism and terrorism," he said.