Police say at least 32 people have been killed and many wounded in a suicide car bombing in the northwest of Pakistan.
The bomb went off on a main road near the city of Kohat, about 150 kilometres southwest of the capital Islamabad. The blast reportedly ripped through many shops in the mainly Shi’ite area, causing some to collapse. Kohat is a garrison town, near to the lawless Pashtun tribal belt on the Afghan border and is a major refuge for Islamic militants. The area is a hotbed of sectarian tension and the Taliban targets Pakistan’s minority Shi’ite Muslims as part of their war against the government. Until today, militant violence had recently tapered off following the death of a Taliban chief and Pakistan forces making large gains in an offensive in the Swat valley.