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Bombing in Peshawar

by AFP and Newsweek Pakistan
A. Majeed—AFP

A. Majeed—AFP

At least five people killed, six others injured.

At least five people were killed and six injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up inside a stadium in Peshawar on Sunday, officials said.

The bomber was believed to have been targeting a group of refugees from the tribal areas who had gone to a government-run camp in the Arbab Niaz stadium to fill out paperwork ahead of their journey home.

Senior police official Faisal Mukhtar said the bomber blew himself up near a small mosque inside the stadium and the dead included one tribal policeman.

Najeeb Ur Rehman, another senior police official, confirmed the incident. “It was a suicide blast, around 10 kilograms of explosives were used,” he said.

He said the suicide bomber was trying to target the refugees who had fled fighting between the military and the Taliban in the Khyber tribal district. “But he could not reach them because the security forces started firing at him and he blew himself up,” Rehman said.

Shahid Afridi, a firefighter present at the site during the blast, said a man in his twenties entered the stadium and started firing with a pistol. “The security forces retaliated and then there was a explosion and I fell to the ground,” said Afridi, who sustained leg injuries following the blast.

Muzafaruddin Sadiq, head of the government-run Lady Reading Hospital, said: “We have five bodies and six injured,” adding one person remained in critical condition.

Thousands of people from Tirah valley in Khyber tribal district fled their homes after the military began an operation against Al Qaeda-affiliated militant groups in 2011. Many have sought shelter in government-run camps while others stayed with extended family or in rented accommodation. With the fighting in that district calming down, the government has started a repatriation process that requires them to register themselves so they are cleared to go home.

The attack comes two weeks after the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) formally ended a ceasefire called to help peace talks with the government.

Earlier in the day, a roadside improvised explosive device (IED) injured three security forces personnel in the North Waziristan tribal district home to the TTP leadership. “Three security forces personnel were injured when a vehicle was hit by an IED planted by terrorists near Khajuri, in North Waziristan Agency,” military officials said.

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