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Two bomb attacks kill 34 in northwest Pak

Islamabad: A total of 34 people were killed and dozens more injured in two bomb attacks in the restive northwest Pakistan on Saturday, with militants targeting a crowded market and a police van.

A powerful car bomb went off in a market at Landi Kotal town in the restive Khyber tribal region, killing at least 27 people, including three children, and injuring nearly 60 others.

Officials at a local hospital said they had received 18 bodies while nine persons died while being taken to Peshawar, the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

The children who died were aged between nine and 12 years, officials said. They said 57 people were injured and several of them were in a serious condition.

The bomb was hidden in a pick-up truck that was parked in the market. About five kilogrammes of explosives were used in the attack. The blast targeted members of the pro-government Zakakhel tribe, who had formed a militia to take on local militants.

Twelve shops and 10 cars were destroyed by the blast. Gas cylinders stored in a shop blew up, triggering a fire. Police and security forces cordoned off the site and launched a search operation. No group claimed responsibility for the attack. The banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and the Lashkar-e-Islam are active in Khyber Agency.

In a separate incident, a police van was targeted with a bomb hidden in a cart in Kohat town of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province on Saturday night. Seven persons, including four policemen, were killed and eight others injured, officials said.

The bomb was triggered by remote control as the van was passing by. The blast damaged another car. A child was among the dead. The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack.

In yet another incident, the bomb disposal squad foiled a terrorist attack by defusing a bomb at Kohat Road in Peshawar. The bomb was hidden in a pressure cooker that was left on the roadside, officials said.

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