Many bodies are still trapped under the rubble of the police station in Mingora in Pakistan’s Swat valley.
Eight have been recovered, but there are fears of more after the Taliban warned of a bombing counter-offensive if the government does not stop military operations in the area, once a tourist magnet.
Last year it fell under the control of a radical cleric supported by Taliban from Afghanistan. This is the third bombing in Pakistan in 48 hours, following Thursday’s suicide attack in the capital which claimed 70 lives.
While the violence escalates there is no political force seemingly able to counter it, with government in near disarray following the resignation of the president.
Benazir Bhutto’s widower, Asif Ali Zardari, has announced he will be the coalition’s leading party’s candidate to replace Pervez Musharraf. This may signal a quieting of the political turmoil.
His agreement means it is likely he has won the support of former prime minister and coalition junior partner Nawaz Sharif, who is also a former bitter political rival.