Bomb kills 31 in Pakistan's Peshawar, third attack in a week

Vechiles and shops burn at the site of a bomb explosion in the busy Kissa Khwani market in Peshawar on Sunday, Sept 29, 2013. A bomb explosion killed at least 31 people in Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar on Sunday, Sept 29, 2013, officials s
Vechiles and shops burn at the site of a bomb explosion in the busy Kissa Khwani market in Peshawar on Sunday, Sept 29, 2013. A bomb explosion killed at least 31 people in Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar on Sunday, Sept 29, 2013, officials said.  -- PHOTO: AFP

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AFP) - A bomb explosion on Sunday killed at least 31 people in Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar, officials said - the third deadly strike to hit the city in the last week.

The blast took place in the busy Kissa Khwani market in Peshawar, gateway to the troubled tribal regions which are infested with Taleban and Al-Qaeda linked militants.

"The blast killed at least 31 people and wounded 76 others," top local administration official Sahebzada Muhammad Anis told AFP.

He said it seemed that a car was used in the blast but that investigators would be "in a position to confirm the exact nature after bomb disposal officials collect necessary evidence from the site".

An official at Peshawar's Lady Reading Hospital, Jameel Shah, also confirmed the new toll.

Local officials said the blast took place near a police station but they did not initially say whether the station was the intended target.

Sunday's attack was the third major bombing to strike Peshawar and its suburbs in the past seven days.

Last Sunday a twin suicide attack at a Peshawar church killed 82 people, triggering countrywide protests by the Christian community and members of the civil society demanding better protection for Pakistan's minorities.

On Friday, a powerful bomb tore through a bus carrying government employees on the edge of Peshawar city, killing 18 people.