PESHAWAR, Pakistan — A powerful car bomb ripped through a market in northwestern Pakistan on Friday, killing at least 11 people, police said.
The explosion in Mattani bazaar near the city of Peshawar injured another 20 people and damaged 30 shops, senior police official Abdul Sattar Khan said.
The latest violence in a volatile area near the Afghan border shows that militants still pose a great threat to a key US ally despite government offensives against the Taliban and their supporters.
Khan said the dead and wounded were taken to a hospital, and some of the injured were in a critical condition. No one claimed responsibility for the attack.
Provincial Information Minister Mian Iftikhar condemned the attack, saying terrorists had killed innocent people by detonating the bomb in a bazaar.
Peshawar is the capital of northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, which borders Afghanistan.
It has had scores of such attacks, most blamed on Pakistani Taliban against whom the military has launched several offensives in recent years.
Meanwhile, at least 15 Pakistani soldiers have disappeared after a clash with Taliban in the town of Salarzai in the Bajur tribal region, two security officials said Friday. They said authorities lost contact with the troops Tuesday after fighting broke out.
Jahangir Azam Wazir, a government administrator in Salarzai, confirmed that ‘‘several soldiers’’ had been missing since Tuesday. He declined to give further details, and army officials were not available for comment.
A Taliban spokesman who gives his name only as Sirajuddin claimed this week that his group had captured 15 soldiers from Salarzai. He siad they would be executed soon.