Updated: 02/23/2014 18:58 | By Agence France-Presse

Bomb in northwest Pakistan 'kills five'

A bomb placed near a bus stop killed five people including two women and a child in a northwestern Pakistani city on Sunday, police said, adding a dozen more were injured.


Bomb in northwest Pakistan 'kills five'

Police officials examine a destroyed office of an election candidate fallowing a bomb attack in the city of Kohat on April 28, 2013 - by Basit Gilani

The blast occurred in the city of Kohat in the troubled province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which borders Pakistan's lawless tribal areas where Al-Qaeda and Taliban-led militants have sanctuaries.

Police said around five kilogrammes of explosive were planted in a cooking oil container and placed near the bus stop in the city centre, adding the device was detonated remotely. 

"So far we can confirm that five people have been killed and 12 others are injured," district police chief Salim Khan Marwat told AFP.

Another police official at the site said the bomb exploded near police and other government offices.

The attack came hours after Pakistan air force jets bombed militant hideouts in the tribal district of Khyber, killing 18 suspected militants and destroying two hideouts, according to security sources.

On Saturday a roadside bomb targeting a local leader of a nationalist party in Buner district in the northwest killed three people and wounded two.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for Sunday's blast, but such attacks are regularly staged by the Pakistani Taliban.

The outfit has been waging a bloody campaign against the Pakistani state since 2007 which has cost thousands of lives.

Peace talks between the Taliban and the government stalled last week due to a recent surge in insurgent attacks and a claim by a Taliban faction that it had killed 23 kidnapped soldiers.

Government mediators have set a Taliban ceasefire as a precondition for another round of talks. 

But Shahidullah Shahid, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, on Friday blamed Islamabad for the deadlock and urged the state to declare a ceasefire first.

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