At least 38 people were killed and about 100 were wounded after a bomb exploded at a bazaar in Peshawar, officials at a Pakistani hospital said.
A car carrying 220 kilograms (440 pounds) of explosives detonated in the city’s historic Qissa Khawani bazaar, destroying at least 10 shops, several vehicles and leaving a huge crater, said Shafqat Malik, chief of the bomb disposal unit.
Qissa Khawani bazaar, or the “storytellers’ market,” was the site of a bloody massacre in April 1930 when British soldiers fired on peaceful demonstrators, killing hundreds. At the time, Pakistan was part of India — and India was under British rule.
Alamzeb Khan was working at a nearby tea stall when he felt the earth shake. The impact of the blast knocked him to the ground.
“When I got up, everything was on fire. Women and children were burning in (a) Suzuki pickup, and a number of vehicles were destroyed, besides the shops (that) were also on fire,” Khan said.
The death toll is expected to rise, as most of the wounded are critically injured, said Dr. Arshad Javed, chief executive of Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar.
A gruesome week
Peshawar, the capital of Pakistan’s volatile Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, has endured a violent week.
On Monday, 81 people were killed in a suicide bombing at a Protestant church in one of the deadliest attacks ever on the Christian community in Pakistan.
A splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility, saying the attack was in response to U.S. drone strikes in tribal areas.