23 killed in Pakistan market bomb blast

Wednesday 09 April 2014 16.31
Pakistani security officials and rescue workers inspect the scene in Islamabad
Pakistani security officials and rescue workers inspect the scene in Islamabad

A bomb blast has killed 23 people and injured at least 39 near the Pakistan capital Islamabad, police and hospital officials said today.

The blast took place at a wholesale fruit and vegetable market in the busy morning period when grocers and sellers gather to trade, in the latest violence to hit government peace talks with the Taliban.

It is the deadliest attack to hit the Pakistani capital since the Marriott Hotel bombing in 2008 and comes as the government tries to negotiate an end to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan's seven-year insurgency.

Vice Chancellor of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Dr Javed Akram Qazi, confirmed that the hospital had received 18 bodies. He had been notified by police of five more deaths and more wounded were arriving, he said.

Police said at least 39 people had been wounded.

The market was located on the border between Islamabad and its twin city of Rawalpindi.

Rawalpindi, whose suburbs blend into the capital, is the site of the powerful Pakistani military's headquarters. 

There were no immediate claims of responsibility.