Blast kills at least 27 & 90 hurt in Dera Ghazi Khan, Pakistan.

The blast in Dera Ghazi Khan was the latest in a series of suicide and other explosions that have killed more than 500 people in Pakistan since October. — Photo by AP

Suicidal car bomb Blast kills at least 27 in Dera Ghazi Khan

MULTAN: A suicide car bombing in a busy market in central Pakistan on Tuesday killed at least 27 people, the latest in a stream of deadly attacks to hit the country, a senior official said.

The bombing in the town of Dera Ghazi Khan came as Pakistan battles militants and follows on the heels of a visit by top US military commander General David Petraeus.

‘The latest toll is 27 dead and 90 injured,’ as the town’s commissioner Hassan Iqbal’s statement so far available.  ‘It was a suicide attack,’ he said.

He said 81 people were in the local hospital while nine critically wounded had been shifted to the hospital in the nearby city of Multan.

‘It was an explosive-laden vehicle which the bomber used in the attack,’Iqbal said.

‘We have recovered body parts of the bomber including a hand and a foot from the car,’ he said. ‘The rescue work is over now, debris has been removed,’ he said.

Iqbal earlier told AFP there were many people trapped in the rubble after the powerful blast demolished around 10 shops.

‘It was a terrorist activity, similar to those being carried out in other parts of the country.’

The state-run hospital in the small town was ill-equipped to cope with heavy casualties and Iqbal said special arrangements had been made for the supply of medicines.

A helicopter was used to ferry the seriously wounded to Multan hospital.

Local police chief Mubarak Ali earlier told reporters ‘it was a powerful car bomb blast, it ripped through the Khosa Market, which is the busiest shopping centre in the town.

‘Several shops were destroyed and a mosque was also badly damaged.’

Witnesses said the roofs of several shops caved in and dust and smoke engulfed the site after the blast, which left a big crater in the ground. Local people rushed to join the rescue work while cranes removed the debris to retrieve any casualties.

The blast also damaged nearby buildings and glass shards littered the ground.

The attack damaged the house of an adviser to the Punjab provincial government, Zulfikar Khosa. ‘There was no family member in the house,’ Khosa told reporters. -AFP & News Agencies.

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