24 killed in Pak blast

Snehesh Alex Philip
Islamabad: At least 24 people were killed and over 100 others injured Wednesday in a bomb blast that ripped through a bustling fruit market on the outskirts of the Pakistani capital.
The blast occurred in the fruit market in Sector I-11 of the capital, bordering the garrison city of Rawalpindi.
No group has claimed responsibility for the blast.
According to initial information, a 4-5 kg bomb was planted in a crate of guava that was brought to the market.
The bomb went off as people gathered to take part in the auction of the fruits that are done every day.
Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Vice Chancellor Prof Javed Akram confirmed the death toll.
Security officials and the police have cordoned off the area and the Bomb Disposal Squad is combing the area for other explosive devices.
The blast comes a month after the deadly terror attack on a Court premises in the federal capital.
The attack comes even as the government and the banned Taliban are in talks with each other to end the cycle of violence that has engulfed the country over the past one decade. The Taliban has announced a ceasefire till April 10.
The attack occurred just prior to the Army’s Corps Commanders’ Conference scheduled for Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesman Shahidullah Shahid condemned the blast, adding that the death of civilians in the attack was regrettable.
The spokesman also denounced Tuesday’s bomb explosion inside a train in Sibi which had claimed 17 lives.
Shahid said it was possible that some “hidden hands” were involved in the attacks.
—PTI