PESHAWAR: A bomb tore through a busy market in Pashat area of Bajaur Agency’s Salarzai area on Thursday killing at least nine people and injuring twenty others, officials said.
Twenty others were wounded when the device, planted in a pick-up truck, exploded in Pasht bazaar of Salarzai in Bajaur district, one of the toughest battlegrounds in Pakistan's fight against the Taliban in the northwest.
“There are nine bodies and 20 wounded brought to hospital,” Doctor Khalilur Rehman told AFP.
Two children aged eight and 13 were among the dead and four children aged five to 11 were among the injured, he said.
A government official had earlier put the death toll at five.
Nobody claimed the responsibility for the bombing, but the Taliban have carried out several attacks against Salarzai tribesmen for forming pro-government militias and supporting military operations.
According to an AFP tally, around 5,000 people have been killed in militant attacks across the country since July 2007, when government troops raided an extremist mosque in the capital Islamabad, sparking a bloody insurgency.
The military conducted major anti-Taliban offensives in Bajaur in August 2008 and February 2009, and has repeatedly declared the district secure.
But militants have still proved able to strike.
Pakistan has lost more than 3,000 soldiers in the fight against homegrown insurgents but has resisted US pressure to do more to eliminate havens used by those fighting the Americans in Afghanistan.