PESHAWAR - At least nine people, including five children, were killed and 50 others injured when a high-intensity bomb exploded in one of the busiest markets of Dera Ismail Khan during rush hour on Sunday. Some unknown saboteurs had planted the bomb in an animal-driven cart, parked inside Gillani Market, which exploded with a big bang killing nine people, including five children, and injuring more than 50 others. District Police Officer Mohammad Iqbal Khan, when contacted, confirmed the deaths. He also said that condition of three injured was critical. Divisional Headquarters Hospital sources informed the media that more than 50 injured were brought to the hospital. However, around 10 of them were discharged after first medical aid, they said. Soon after the explosion, police and civil administration officials reached the site and supervised rescue operation. The authorities believed that the blast could be a reaction to the ongoing military operation against militants. The police on occasion also claimed to have arrested two alleged suicide bombers from the hospital premises, who were later shifted to an unknown location for interrogation. Immediately after the blast, all the bazaars and markets of the city were closed and people protested against the government. They chanted slogans against religio-sectarian forces and the government. It may be mentioned here that Dera Ismail Khan, owing to religious-cum-sectarian strife, has been a scene of violent incidents as dozens of explosions here have killed hundreds of people. Meanwhile, President Asif Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Speaker National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza, Deputy Speaker Faisal Kundi, NWFP Governor Owais Ghani, Chief Minister Amir Khan Hoti, Federal Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira and several other federal and provincial ministers and political leaders have condemned the blast. The President said that such cowardly acts of the terrorists could not deter the government and it would continue fighting militancy in the country. He also condoled the deaths of the innocent people killed in the incident. Prime Minister while expressing sorrow over the deaths directed the authorities concerned to conduct inquiry into the blast.