Police foil bomb attack at bus station in north-west Pakistan

Pakistani army soldiers take part of search operation at the Bacha Khan university following an attack by militants.
Pakistani army soldiers take part of search operation at the Bacha Khan university following an attack by militants.PHOTO: AFP

PESHAWAR (AFP) - Police said they caught a man planting a bomb at a crowded bus station in Pakistan's north-western city of Peshawar on Thursday (Jan 21), a day after Taleban gunmen attacked a nearby university, leaving 21 people dead.

"We caught a man planting a bomb at Peshawar Bus Stand," senior police official Rokhan Zeb told AFP.

A bomb disposal team safely defused it, he said, adding that some 2,000 people were near the bus stand when the device was found.

"A big disaster has been averted due to police alertness, had the bomb exploded it could have killed and wounded scores of people," Mr Zeb said.

Analysts have said Wednesday's attack on the Bacha Khan university in Charsadda, some 50km from Peshawar, shows that a national crackdown has failed to quell extremism and militants can hit targets at will.

The rampage, which saw gunmen target students and staff with grenades and automatic weapons, threatened to destroy a sense of security that had been slowly growing in the area more than a year after a 2014 assault on a Peshawar school that left more than 150 people dead in Pakistan's deadliest-ever extremist attack.