A BICYCLE bomb has exploded at a busy northwestern Pakistan hotel, killing at least 10 people, wounding 14 and destroying the building, police say.
The device went off overnight as dozens of people were gathered after breaking the day’s fast. Like the rest of the Muslim world, Pakistan is observing the holy month of Ramadan, when the faithful fast from dawn to dusk.
The bomb was planted on a bicycle parked in the front courtyard of the hotel in the town of Nowshera, police said.
Mohammad Hussain, a senior police officer in Nowshera, said nine people were killed and more than 14 others were wounded.
Police spokesman Turk Ali Shah said the death toll rose to 10 when one more died in hospital.
“The hotel was destroyed along with an adjacent hotel. Six nearby shops were badly damaged,” Mr Hussain said.
Nowshera is 50km northeast of Peshawar, the capital of troubled Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Last week, 51 people were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a crowded mosque in northwestern Khyber tribal district, in Pakistan’s deadliest attack for three months.
The nuclear-armed Muslim country has suffered years of deadly violence blamed on Taliban and al-Qaeda-linked networks.
US special forces killed al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden on May 2 in Pakistan.
The northwest suffers from chronic insecurity largely connected to the semi-autonomous tribal belt near Afghanistan which Washington calls the most dangerous place on Earth and a global headquarters of al-Qaeda.
More than 4550 people have been killed in suicide attacks and bomb explosions in Pakistan during the last four years, many of them carried out by the Taliban and other al-Qaeda-linked Islamist extremists.
An intelligence official in Peshawar, the main town in Pakistan’s insurgent-infested and violent northwest, confirmed the incident and death toll of 10.