Pakistan: Deadly Car Bomb Blast At Market

At least 17 people have been killed and more than 40 others hurt after a car bombing in a crowded market in Pakistan, officials have said.

The device went off next to the women's waiting area of a bus stop in Jamrud town in the troubled northwest tribal region near the Afghan border.

Among the dead were five boys and two women, said a doctor.

The bus stop is located near the office of one of the top political officials in the Khyber tribal area but it is not clear if that was the target. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing.

The explosives were packed in a small, white car that was parked in the middle of the road, blocking traffic, said Shireen Afridi, who was nearby buying a phone card when the bomb exploded.

"There was fire in which children burned, women burned, poor Afghan people burned, and it caused a lot of destruction," said Mr Afridi.

Khyber is home to various Islamist militant groups, including the Pakistani Taliban, which have waged a bloody insurgency against the government for the past few years.

Meanwhile, Taliban militants fired rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons at an army convoy in northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, killing three soldiers and wounding three others, an official said.

The soldiers were escorting a polio vaccination team outside the town of Lakki Marwat when the attack occurred, said Wazir Khan, a local resident.

A Pakistani Taliban spokesman in the South Waziristan tribal area, Asim Mehsud, claimed responsibility.

"These polio drops are a deadly American campaign to poison us," he said.