Blast in Pakistan Market Kills 29 People

At least 29 people were killed and dozens wounded in a blast Monday at a security forces checkpoint in northwest Pakistan, authorities said.

About 45 people were injured in the explosion in the Shangla district in the volatile Swat Valley, said Syed Altaf Hussein, a senior government official in the area. The explosion targeted a military vehicle, officials said, CNN reports.

Local Mayor Bakhte Alam says many more are wounded in the Monday blast in a Shangla district market. Police official Tahir Khan says it may have been a car bombing. The explosion is the latest in a string of attacks in the country, signaling the Taliban are still strong.

Swat has been the focus of an intense military offensive against the Taliban. The army says it has largely cleared the valley of the insurgents, though some were on the run.

Many of the Taliban are believed to have melted into the rural areas or gone to neighboring districts, The Associated Press reports.

nterior Minister Rehman Malik has said that recent attacks -- including a car bomb Friday that killed 52 people in the northwestern city of Peshawar -- may hasten the assault on the area.

"An operation against the Taliban in Waziristan is a must," Syed Shahab Ali Shah, the top administrative official of South Waziristan, told AFP.

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