Police in northwest Pakistan continue to dig through
wreckage from Friday's car bomb blast in a Shiite quarter of Peshawar. At least 27 people have been killed and
scores more wounded in the attack.
The explosion Friday evening occurred
in a densely populated area of Peshawar, where narrow alleys and crowds of
onlookers prevented rescue workers from quickly reaching victims.
Peshawar's mayor, Hajji Ghulam Ali,
tells VOA the rescue work has been difficult.
He says district and provincial
officials, along with help from the public, have now controlled the situation
and searched through much of the debris.
The attack occurred near a Shiite
shrine and a famous market known as "Storytellers Bazaar," long known
as a place where travelers and merchants exchange news.
The mayor says investigators are
still working to determine who was behind the attack.
Also Friday, residents in
Taliban-dominated North Waziristan tribal agency said a suspected U.S.
airstrike killed at least three people in a home near the town Mir Ali. U.S. drones have increased strikes against
suspected Taliban and al Qaida militants in Pakistan's tribal regions in recent
months, but officials do not comment on the reported action.
Following the blast in Peshawar, a
local resident complained about the ongoing violence and appealed to residents
to stand together for peace.
Mohammad Ali says Pakistan's
administration cannot bring peace. He
says the people should come out onto the streets and face the attackers and
then the bombers will run away.
Pakistan's civilian government is
under enormous pressure, both from a raging Taliban insurgency along its
western border and from the United States and India to crack down on groups
suspected of involvement in the Mumbai attacks.
Top U.S. officials have visited the
country in recent days to try to defuse tensions with India. On Saturday, U.S. Senators John McCain, Joe
Lieberman and Lindsey Graham met with top Pakistani leaders.
officials have pledged to do all they can to find the Mumbai perpetrators, but
they are also insisting that any Pakistani suspects will be tried in Pakistani
courts - instead of being handed over to India.