Peshawar: Two bombs, hours apart, exploded in the Pakistani city of Peshawar on Monday, killing 23 people and underscoring the reach of militants despite successive military offensives close to the Afghan border, police said.
The first blast exploded outside a school run by a police welfare foundation in the northwestern city, killing a young boy and wounding 10 people. Just before dusk, a second bomb went off close to a police station in a busy market area, killing 23 and wounding around 30, said police officer Zahid Khan.
Some of the victims were supporters of a hardline Islamist party holding a rally close to the station, said Khan.
Taliban and al Qaeda militants based in the Afghan border region — who are fighting Pakistani security forces — have carried hundreds of attacks over the last three years. Two blasts over the weekend in the nearby Kohat tribal region killed around 50 people, most of them refugees lining up to register for food and other aid.
The Police Public School was in session when the bomb went off, said police official Shafiullah Khan. The school is run by a foundation that raises money to help families of police officers.
The dead boy was aged between 5 and 7, Khan said. Five of the wounded were children.
Also Monday, suspected Taliban militants in the northwest detonated two bombs that destroyed a pair of oil tankers along a vital route used to supply NATO and US forces in Afghanistan.
No one was wounded, but the fire also engulfed a flatbed truck and nearby shops in the Takhta Beg area of the Khyber tribal region, local official Iqbal Khan said.
Taliban militants and ordinary criminals frequently attack vehicles along the supply route that runs through the famed Khyber Pass into Afghanistan. The US and NATO say their Afghan operations have felt limited impact, but they are establishing alternate routes.