Bomb kills 16, injures dozens in Pakistan's capital

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - A powerful bomb placed in a crate of grapes ripped through a crowded market Tuesday morning, killing 16 people and wounding more than 80 in Pakistan's capital, police said.

The blast was the deadliest of 40 bombings that have rocked Pakistani cities this year, and the government has blamed archrival India for many of the previous attacks.

Pakistan's military ruler Gen. Pervez Musharraf condemned Tuesday's ''dastardly act of terrorism,'' but did not place blame.

The explosion, the first in Islamabad this year, occurred while workers were unloading the crates from a truck, witnesses said. The blast triggered a stampede of workers and shoppers from the city's largest fruit and vegetable market.

''I heard the explosion and saw fruit flying in the air,'' said Hasan Khan, a shop owner who was just 20 yards from the blast. ''People started running and screaming. We pulled down the shutters on our shop and left.''

No group immediately claimed responsibility, and police were investigating.

The truck arrived from Kurram Agency in Pakistan's northwestern tribal region bordering Afghanistan, police and witnesses said.

The vegetable market is located on the city's outskirts in a relatively poor neighborhood. Many of the victims were Afghan refugees who work unloading trucks.

Pakistan has been plagued by political violence, including periodic bomb blasts, for years. However, since Musharraf seized power last October, ousting an elected civilian government, overall political unrest has declined. And Islamabad has traditionally been calm even when other Pakistani cities were aflame.


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