Islamabad: A car bomb exploded on Saturday near a KFC fast-food restaurant in Pakistan’s main northwestern city of Peshawar, killing at least three people and leaving others trapped in a blazing building where many lawyers have offices, officials said.
The attack in Peshawar was the latest in a wave that has underscored the resilience of militant networks in the country as the army wages a key offensive against the Taliban in the lawless tribal belt bordering Afghanistan. An attack on Friday on a mosque frequented by army personnel killed 37 people in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.
Saturday’s explosion damaged vehicles and shattered windows along a wide stretch of a major road. At least three people died and seven others were wounded, police official Gohar Zaman said.
Several people were seen clinging to windows in one building that was on fire, shouting for help. Firefighters struggled to put out the flames, while others tried to get into the building using a ladder.
“It seems that the explosives were planted in the car, and it exploded through a remote control,” said Mian Iftikhar Hussain, the region’s information minister.
The exact target of the attack was unknown, but the bomb went off not far from the KFC restaurant, which is well known in the city and has security guards stationed outside.
No group immediately claimed responsibility. Attacks by Islamist extremists have killed more than 400 people in Pakistan since October, when the army began an offensive against the Taliban in the south Waziristan tribal region.
At least nine of the attacks have been in and around Peshawar, the largest city in the northwest and the main gateway to the border region where many al-Qaida and Taliban are based.