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Pak market blast kills 32

Peshawar, Nov. 10 (AP): A car bomb exploded outside a crowded market in northwestern Pakistan today, killing at least 32 people in the latest attack by suspected militants.

The attack was apparently aimed at avenging an army offensive along the Afghan border.

The bombing, aimed at causing maximum civilian casualties, was the third blast in as many days in or close to Peshawar, the capital of the North West Frontier Province.

The blast in Charsadda, 40km north of Peshawar, was caused by some 40kg of explosives stuffed into a van, the senior police chief in Peshawar, Liaqat Ali Khan, said. Authorities were investigating whether the attack, which killed at least 32 people and wounded 60 others, was carried out by a suicide bomber, he said.

Rashid Kaka said he was returning from the mosque to his shop in the market when the bomb exploded, destroying stores on both sides of the road and knocking down electrical wires.

“It was deafening and there were clouds of dust all around. I could not see anything around me,” said Kaka. “Later I saw many bodies lying scattered.”

No one claimed responsibility, but authorities have blamed similar attacks in recent weeks on the Taliban. The militants hope the blasts will weaken the resolve of the army, which launched an offensive against the militants in South Waziristan.

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