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Bomb Near Pakistani Market Kills 16, Injures Dozens


A powerful car-bomb explosion outside the offices of pro-government tribal elders in northwestern Pakistan has killed at least 16 people.

Police official Naeem Khan said dozens more people were wounded in the attack, which struck near a market in the town of Darra Adam Khel in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province that borders the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

"I was in the market -- a car was parked there," Hashmat Khan, a local resident, told Radio Mashaal. "Suddenly there was an explosion. I thought a mortar had struck somewhere, but when I looked around, dust was rising from every shop. I came running here and found injured people lying all over the place."

No group immediately claimed responsibility.

Frontier Region Kohat official Fakhar Uddin said that the bomb was planted in a mini-truck near the market. Police are investigating whether it was a time bomb or detonated with a remote-control device. Uddin said the apparent target of the attack was the office of peace committee volunteers who help the government in their efforts against militants.

Mian Iftikhar Hussain, Information Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan, suggested in a televised interview that supporters of the government were the target.

Pakistani Taliban militants previously have staged such attacks in the tribal region to punish elders for backing security forces.

Darra Adam Khel is famous for its weapons market selling homemade guns crafted by local artisans.

With additional reporting by AP, dpa, and AFP