Peshawar City Shuts Down After Blast Kills 23

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Residents of Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar are in mourning, after a suicide bomb attack yesterday that left 23 people dead and dozen injured. The government has announced three days of mourning in the province.

23 people are dead after a suicide bomber attacked Pakistani police guarding a protest rally in the city of Peshawar on Monday.

The latest blast went off in an area of the old city known as the Storytellers' Bazaar as a protest against power cuts was breaking up. Several officials of the Jamaat-i-Islami Party, which organized the protest, were among the dead.

On Tuesday, markets remained closed across Peshawar as the business community observed a complete shutter-down strike to register their protest against the blast.

It was the second blast in the city on Monday.

The government has announced three days of mourning in the province.

Braving the rain in the city, residents concerned about safety and security gathered at newspaper kiosks in the morning hours.

[Zafar Ali, Shop Worker]: (Urdu, gender male)
"Laborers come here for work from nearby villages. They work till dusk so that they can earn some money. But they don't know whether they will safely return home or not."

Security forces have made significant gains against the militants in offensives over the past year. They have cleared out militant strongholds in the Swat valley and in the regions of South Waziristan and Bajaur on the Afghan border.

But the militants have demonstrated time and again they have the capacity to strike back with gun and bomb attacks.

Islamist militants have launched a string of bomb attacks in Peshawar, killing hundreds of people over the past year.

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