Twin blasts in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar killed 33 people and wounded 70 on Sunday, a week after bombings at a church there killed scores, police and hospital authorities said.
Islamist violence has been on the rise in Pakistan in recent months, undermining Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s efforts to tame the insurgency by launching peace talks with the Taliban.
The blasts outside a police station hit an area known as Quiswakhani, or the storytellers’ bazaar, crowded with shoppers. Police said they thought at least one of the explosions in the city close to the Afghan border had been caused by a car bomb.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid condemned the attack.
Two policemen tried in vain to hold back the crowd gathered outside the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, where many of the victims had been taken.
“Who is burning Peshawar, who is burning Peshawar?” screamed one woman in a long headscarf.
The blasts follow an attack by a Taliban faction on Peshawar’s Anglican church last Sunday that killed more than 80 people, the deadliest assault on Christians in predominantly Muslim Pakistan.
The Taliban have repeatedly rejected Pakistan’s constitution and have called for the full implementation of Islamic law and for war with India.
How long O Lord? How long must we call for help, must the people of Pakistan call for help … or cry out to you violence … the law is paralyzed and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous so that justice is perverted. Do that thing which will amaze all who watch and reveal your glory.