Children Injured in Pakistan Blast

A roadside blast using a remote-controlled improvised explosive device, or IED, wounded seven people Tuesday, including four children in Peshawar, the capital of Pakistan’s northern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

According to area police, a preliminary investigation of the site found that 4 kilograms of explosives were concealed in a concrete block. Images from the site show the blast shattered windows of a nearby building.

Authorities said the wounded children, aged between six and 17, have been identified as Afghan nationals. Hospital authorities said none of the injured were in school uniform, indicating that the wounded were not school children.  

“I am a roadside vendor and I had just arrived at the spot when a blast happened,” Javed Khan, a wounded 17-year-old who had come to sell potato chips told VOA’s Deewa Service. Khan said the injured children were his relatives. Hospital authorities say one 6-year-old is in critical condition.

The area where the incident occurred just after 9 a.m. has several educational institutions nearby, including the Army Public School that terrorists attacked nine years ago, this month. Around 150 people, mostly children, were killed in that brazen attack that shocked the nation.

Speaking to media near the site of Tuesday’s blast, Kashif Abbasi, a senior officer with Peshawar Police said the target was most likely a police vehicle that was on a routine patrol.

“As soon as the police mobile [patrol vehicle] drove by the site, the IED blast occurred,” Abbasi said.

Nearly two months before Tuesday’s attack, a similar incident in the area killed a soldier and injured six others.

So far, no group has claimed responsibility.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province has seen a marked rise in terror incidents, most targeting security personnel, since the Afghan Taliban returned to power in Kabul two years ago.

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, an ideological offshoot of the Afghan Taliban routinely claims responsibility.

Pakistan accuses Kabul’s de facto government of inaction against TTP terrorists it alleges have moved their operational bases to Afghanistan. Islamabad is currently expelling hundreds of thousands of Afghan nationals residing without proper documents.

The government in Kabul denies providing safe haven to cross-border terrorists.

VOA Deewa stringer Usman Khan contributed to this report.

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