Day after blasts, Peshawar mourns its dead and wounded

May 29th, 2009 - 5:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Peshawar, May 29 (IANS) A day after twin blasts killed at least seven people here, this capital of Pakistan’s troubled North West Frontier Province (NWFP) was Friday slowly coming to grips with the tragedy.
“The city is still (in) mourning and the deceased have been laid to rest,” The News said of the tragedy that occurred as the military engaged in a major operation against the Taliban in Swat and two other districts of the NWFP.

With two of those injured in the blasts in the Kabari Bazar and Qissa Khawni Bazaar succumbing to their injuries, the death toll has gone up to seven, including a small child.

At least four of the deceased were laid to rest Thursday night, while two others were buried Friday after funeral prayers.

The injured, who number about 100, are being treated at Lady Reading Hospital.

Relief activities continued for the second day Friday in the two marketplaces.

Police gathered clues from the blast sites, including Kabari Bazaar, where dozens of shops were completely gutted and shopkeepers suffered heavy financial losses.

The News quoted police officials as saying the two injured terrorists who had been arrested from the blast sites were being interrogated, but “no solid information” could be gleaned from them.

The blasts had occurred within minutes of each other, causing mayhem as people ran helter skelter and damaged several vehicles and dozens of shops.

The military had gone into action April 26 after the Taliban violated a controversial peace deal with the NWFP government and instead of laying down their arms, moved south from their Swat headquarters to ocupy Buner that lies just 100 km from Islamabad.

With the operations entering their 35th day Friday, the military says some 1,200 Taliban have so far been killed. There is, however, no independent conformation of this as the media have been shut out of the battle zone.

When the operations began, the military estimated it was up against some 4,000-5,000 Taliban fighters in the three districts. It now says that about half of these have fled after shaving off their beards and intermingling with the estimated 2.9 million refugees who have been uprooted from their homes due to the security forces’ operations.

The UN estimates that $543 million would be required for the relief and rehabilitation of the refugees.

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