Death toll from Sunday’s Peshawar blast rises to 15

PESHAWAR: The death toll from a weekend suicide attack in a crowded cattle bazaar in Peshawar has risen to 15, officials said on Monday.

The suicide bomber struck Sunday as people gathered to buy animals in the northwestern city of Peshawar. The dead included a former Taliban supporter turned anti-militant Mayor Abdul Malik, police said.

The death toll rose overnight to 14 and another man died Monday afternoon, local administration chief Sahibzada Anis told AFP.

Doctor Zafar Iqbal at the local Lady Reading Hospital confirmed the deaths.

Another 16 injured people were in hospital – five in a serious condition, he added.

Hospital officials said two children were among the dead.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was avenging Malik’s efforts to raise a militia to fight Islamist rebels.

Pakistan is waging a military offensive against homegrown Taliban umbrella movement Tehreek-e-Taliban in their mountain hideouts in South Waziristan.

Militants have carried out a wave of suicide attacks and bombings across Pakistan, killing more than 2,450 people since July 2007.

A suicide attack on Monday, again in Peshawar, has left three people dead.—AFP

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