A suicide bomber apparently targeting an anti-Taliban mayor struck a crowded market near Peshawar today, killing the mayor and 11 other people and wounding dozens, police said. The market was crowded with shoppers and goats being sold to celebrate the upcoming Muslim festival of Eid. The mayor, Abdul Malik, who was initially reported to have survived, died in the attack, said a top official.
Malik, who had once been a Taliban supporter, later switched sides and formed a local militia to help fight the militants. A young girl was among the 12 killed, officials said. Twenty-five wounded people—several in critical condition—were rushed to a hospital, police said. "That place turned into hell where the dead and injured were lying everywhere and blood and flesh were spread around," said one man, who was buying goats when the explosion tore through the street. "Now we have our blood in this war."