At least 12 people have been killed in a bomb explosion that hit near a mosque outside the city of Peshawar, in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Press TV reports. The incident occurred on Friday when an explosive-laden pickup truck detonated, ripping through a market in Matni, a southern suburb of Peshawar. At least 14 people, including children, sustained injuries in the attack and were rushed to a nearby hospital, officials said. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the bombing in the troubled area, where such attacks are normally blamed on pro-Taliban militants.
Meanwhile, Pakistan's Interior Ministry warned of a surge in terrorist attacks in major cities in Punjab, the country’s most populous province, following reports that indicated 18 Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants have entered the region.Earlier on Friday, police arrested more than 50 suspects in search operations across Islamabad. During the raids, police forces arrested three Afghan nationals in a graveyard along with explosive materials and explosive belts. Thousands of Pakistanis have lost their lives in bombings and other militant attacks since 2001, when Pakistan joined an alliance with the United States in the so-called war on terror. Since late 2009, there has been a surge in militant attacks in Pakistan and thousands more have been displaced by the wave of violence and militancy sweeping across the country. NS/MS/MRS/JR