At least 46 people have been killed in bombings in Pakistan, on the same day Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and British counterpart David Cameron met to discuss security.
No fewer than 17 people died in the first attack on Sunday, which targeted a convoy of Frontier Corps soldiers in Badhber near the northwestern city of Peshawar. The remotely detonated car bomb missed the convoy and instead destroyed a market area.
“The blast was so powerful that it destroyed 10 shops and eight vehicles,” said Mir Ajab Khan, the head of a police station in Badhber. “Many of the wounded were women and children.”
In a second attack, a suicide bomber struck near a mosque in the Hazara Town district of the western city of Quetta. Twenty-four people were reported killed and at least 65 injured in the blast.
In a third attack in North Waziristan, four soldiers were killed when their vehicle was hit by a bomb.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but all happened in areas close to the border with Afghanistan, where the Pakistan Taliban operate.
The attacks came as Sharif hosted Cameron in the capital Islamabad, as the UK pledged to work with Pakistan to fight the Taliban and try to bring peace to neighbouring Afghanistan.
Pakistan’s government, which took office in June after landmark elections, faces an array of problems including a moribund economy and threats from armed groups.
Sharif condemned the violence: “Pakistan has suffered the most in terms of human and financial losses. We are, therefore, resolved to tackle the menace of extremism and terrorism with renewed vigour and close cooperation with our friends.”
Cameron said that the UK and Pakistan needed to step up their efforts to root out extremism and terrorism.
Sharif said both had agreed to tackle the problems “with renewed vigour”.
Britain would offer Pakistan more expert help with its counter terrorism strategy and more equipment to tackle improvised explosive devices, Cameron said.