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Pakistan: Peshawar bomb blast kills 9

A bomb blast in Peshawar, Pakistan killed at least nine people and wounded up to 20 others.

Pakistan peshawar bomb blast kills 9 september 19 2012Enlarge
Pakistani medical staff give treatment to an injured blast victim at a hospital following a bomb explosion in Peshawar on September 19, 2012. A bomb apparently targeting a Pakistan air force vehicle ripped through a van in the country's northwestern city of Peshawar on September 19, killing nine people, officials said. (HASHAM AHMED/AFP/Getty Images)

A bomb blast struck a passenger van in Peshawar, Pakistan on Wednesday, killing at least 9 civilians and wounding over two dozen.

Police officials said they suspected it was meant to target a vehicle carrying Pakistani air force officials, according to CNN.

Khan said the bomb was detonated via remote control, while the passenger van and air force vehicle were driving through the area, according to the Associated Press.

Government official Javid Marwat and Peshawar Police Chief Tahir Ayub Khan said pedestrians and shoppers died, while three officers were among the more than 20 people injured in the blast, CNN reported.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, and authorities were still investigating the motive behind the attack, Khan said.

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An official said the bomb on Wednesday was planted in a parked car, containing 66-88 pounds of explosives, ball bearings and artillery shells, according to the BBC.

BBC noted that Peshawar is close to Pakistan's tribal belt, the stronghold of the Taliban and Al Qaeda militants. Hundreds of people have died in attacks in the area in recent years.

An attack earlier this month killed two and injured 19 when a suicide bomber drove his car into a US consulate vehicle in Peshawar, noted the BBC.

Meanwhile, the AP reported that security officials found the bodies of 29 militants in an area of northwest Pakistan which recently saw a two-week battle between security forces and Taliban fighters.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/pakistan/120919/pakistan-peshawar-bomb-blast-kills-9