25 die in Pakistani blast

25 people died and 65 were injured after a bomb blast in northwest Pakistan.

The scene after a deadly bomb blast in Pakistan on 16 June 2012. Picture: STR/AFP

PESHAWAR - A bomb planted in a pickup truck killed at least 26 people at a market in northwest Pakistan on Saturday and wounded 65, security and hospitals officials said, in one of the largest bombing death tolls in weeks.

The target in the town of Landi Kotal appeared to be a tribal leader allied with the government against the Pakistani Taliban, the Islamist militant group blamed for many of the suicide bombings across the country, security officials said.

Hospital officials said 65 people were wounded, most of them fruit and vegetable vendors.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

One security official said a suicide bomber connected with the attack began wandering around the town near the border with Afghanistan shortly after the explosion.

"The blast was so powerful, it was heard far and wide and caused damage to nearby buildings," said resident Sher Mohammad Shinwari.

The Pakistani Taliban are seeking to topple the U.S.-backed government. Suicide attacks have eased in recent months but there are no signs Pakistan's military has broken the back of the group.