Pakistan bomb may have targeted pro-government militia

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Pakistan bomb may have targeted pro-government militia

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The death toll has risen to at least 35 after a bombing near a busy market-place in Jamrud in Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber region.

Seventy more people were injured in the blast which occurred close to a bus terminal.

Police say the device was planted in a vehicle and detonated remotely.

According to local tribesmen, members of a pro-government tribal militia were the intended targets.

Eyewitness Stana gul Afradi aided the rescue operation. “I personally transferred 15 people into vehicles, some were in half pieces, many among them were dead and wounded. Some 20 to 30 people were dead at that time,” he said.

The Pakistani Taliban (Tehrik-e-Taliban or TTP) continue to fight against the military in the northwest of the country and Jamrud is often a hotspot. At least 48 people were killed in another bombing there in August.

This latest incident comes amidst conflicting reports that the government is holding peace talks with the TTP. The group has pledged to overthrow the government since becoming the target of an offensive in 2007.