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Pakistan blast kills dozens
01:05 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

NEW: Six killed, 31 wounded in Peshawar bombing, officials say

The explosion was the second fatal bombing in Pakistan on Monday

A bombing in Islamabad killed eight, including a woman and her son

Officials announce more arrests in the wake of September 7 Quetta bombing

Islamabad, Pakistan CNN  — 

A powerful bomb exploded in a marketplace in Peshawar on Monday night, killing at least six people, wounding at least 31 and destroying about 30 shops, police and hospital officials said.

The explosion was the second fatal bombing Monday in Pakistan. A suicide bomber attacked the home of a senior police official in Islamabad, killing eight people, including a mother and her son who were walking to the child’s school.

The Peshawar bomb consisted of 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of explosives and was detonated remotely, said Hukum Khan, an officer with the bomb disposal squad.

At least six died in the Peshawar explosion, officials at Lady Reading Hospital said. At least 28 people were injured in the attack, which occurred in an area known for a wide selection of CD and DVD shops.

An injured shopper said the last thing he remembered was hearing a blast and his head hitting the wall from the impact.

“I passed out and woke up in the hospital,” said the 35-year-old lawyer, named Jalaludin, who was buying DVDs for his children when the explosion occurred.

The explosion was caused by a bomb carried on a motorcycle, according to senior government official Bashir Ahmed Balour.

Earlier Monday, eight people died when a suicide bomber rammed a truck packed with explosives into the home of a senior police official in Islamabad, authorities said.

The Islamabad attack claimed the lives of six police officers who were stationed at the home. A woman and her son who were walking to school, also died, according to Shoukat Ali, a senior Karachi police official.

The house was badly damaged, but the intended target of the attack – Chaudhry Aslam – is safe, said Jamil Khan, a Karachi police official.

Meanwhile, Pakistani authorities continued a crackdown on illegal immigrants begun after the September 7 suicide attack on an army brigadier’s house in the garrison city of Quetta.

Authorities arrested 107 illegal Afghan, Uzbek and Tajin immigrants on Monday in Chamman, a southwest Pakistan city on the border with Afghanistan, said Abdul Bari, a senior security official.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in Islamabad, which police said involved a pickup stuffed with more than 300 kilograms (660 pounds) of explosives.

Ihsanullah Ihsan, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, said Aslam was the target of the explosion.

“Aslam has killed and arrested lots of our mujahedeen and will have to face the consequences,” Ihsan said.

“Mujahedeen” refers to militants fighting against the Pakistani state and who are often affiliated with radical Islam.

Ihsan said the explosion is also a message to officials who work against the Taliban and alongside the United States.

“All pro-U.S. security officials are … our target,” Ihsan said.

But Aslam said he was “not afraid of this coward attack by Taliban,” appearing on national news channels and vowing to continue the fight against the militants.

“I have been receiving threats from the Taliban for a long time,” the police official said. “I have been defeating Taliban (militants) by arresting them and will continue until I have (the) last drop of blood in my body.”

Aslam added, “I will give (the) Taliban a lesson which even their children will remember forever.”

Sindh province Police Chief Wajid Durrani said Aslam has arrested numerous militants who, after interrogation, provided information that led to the arrests of other militants.

“All the officials who are working against militants have threats,” Durrani said.

The attack rattled nerves of nearby residents who felt the force of the explosion.

“All the windows in my house shattered,” said Zoe Viccaji, who lives down the street. “It was intense.”

Zainab Raza, a mother of two who lives a street away from the attack site, was preparing breakfast when she heard the explosion.

“It felt like an earthquake, because the house shook for about 15 seconds,” Raza said.

“Initially, it was scary, but we’ve realized that we have to live with it and have to be strong for the sake of the children – even though my kids know what a bomb blast is.”

It was not clear whether anyone suspected in the Islamabad attack was arrested in Monday’s sweep in Chamman.

The operation was the most recent in a series of arrests carried out in the last week in which more than 400 people in the southwest province of Balochistan have been arrested. The operation began after an Afghan refugee card was found among the rubble of the September 7 Quetta bombing. The picture on the card matched the description of one of the bombers, a paramilitary official said.

Relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have been strained by recent cross-border attacks and kidnappings. The Pakistani group Tehreek-e-Taliban has claimed responsibility for the incidents.

CNN’s Shaan Khan and Nick Paton Walsh contributed to this report.