The blast took place as a bomb placed inside the bus exploded when the vehicle packed with government employees reached Peshawar from Mardan.

The bomb exploded when the private bus was on Sunehri Masjid Road as it was taking civil secretariat employees for duty.

At least 15 people were killed in the blast targeting the bus carrying government officials, SSP operations Peshawar Abbas Majeed Marwat said. He said about 50 people were on board the bus at the time of the explosion.

Two women and a child were among the dead. At least 30 people were injured in the blast. SP Cantt Kashif Zulfiqar said the blast was caused by an improvised explosive device (IED) planted inside the bus. About 8 kg of explosives were used in blast.

The injured were shifted to Lady reading hospital. The condition of a majority of those injured was stated to be critical. Eight of the injured were admitted in ICU.

The security forces and police cardoned off the entire area and started a search operation. Fear and panic spread among residents in the wake of the explosion.

Peshawar has seen scores of attacks on civilians as well as law enforcement personnel in the past.

The city is also the home to the XI Corps, an administrative corp of the Pakistan Army, which manages all military activity in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and is currently engaged in a full-blown operation against militants in North Waziristan.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif strongly condemned the attack in Peshawar. He expressed grief over the loss of precious lives in the attack.

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