Peshawar, Apr 4: A teenage suicide bomber struck a bus terminal in Lower Dir area of northwest Pakistan today, killing eight persons, including an anti-Taliban militia leader, and injuring over 20 others, police said. The blast occurred at around noon at the terminal at Jandol Munda in Lower Dir district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.
The attack targeted tribal elder Malik Sufi Muhammad Akbar, who was among the dead, district police chief Salim Marwat told reporters.
Akbar's son was also killed in the attack. The tribal elder headed a pro-government ‘lashkar' or militia.
The attacker came to the bus terminal on foot and detonated his explosive vest in the parking lot, Marwat said. The bomber's head had been found and he appeared to be about 15 years old, he said.
An emergency was declared in nearby hospitals. Security forces cordoned off the area and launched a search operation.
Officials said they feared the death toll could rise as some of the injured were in a critical condition. No group claimed responsibility for the blast, which was the sixth terrorist attack in as many days. Such attacks are usually blamed on Taliban fighters who are active in the region located near the restive Bajaur tribal agency.
The bus terminal is located near a key road that links Bajaur Agency to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa's capital Peshawar and other parts of the province.
Two suicide bombers struck a Sufi shrine near Dera Ghazi Khan in Punjab province yesterday, killing 50 people and injuring over 100 others.
The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. PTI