At least 28 people were killed and over 40 injured on Monday in a suicide attack in a market in northwest Pakistan's restive Malakand area, the latest in a series of terror strikes that have rocked the country.
The suicide attacker blew himself up near a security forces vehicle in the main market at Alpurai in Shangla district, which is part of the Malakand division, witnesses were quoted as saying by TV news channels. The attack occurred near a police station.
Police officials put the death toll at 28. More than 40 people were injured in the blast, they said.
The army had launched a major operation against the Taliban in Malakand division, which includes the troubled Swat valley, in May. The army claims it has killed over 2,000 militants in the region so far.
Monday's suicide bombing was the latest in a deadly wave of militant attacks across Pakistan. A suicide attacker struck the UN food agency's office in Islamabad last week, killing five persons while over 50 had died in a suicide car bombing in Peshawar a few days later.
Eight soldiers and nine terrorists were killed over the weekend when a group of heavily-armed militants attempted to storm Pakistan army's General Headquarters in Rawalpindi. The terrorists also took some 50 hostages, who were rescued in an operation carried out by army commandos.