Officials have reported at least 15 people travelling on a bus have been killed and dozens injured by a bomb in the north-western Pakistani city of Peshawar.
The vehicle was carrying government employees from nearby areas to the city and was passing a busy main road with heaving morning traffic when the bomb went off.
The top part of the bus had blown off.
Police say the blast was caused by an improvised device which apparently detonated inside the bus.
There has been no claim of responsibility, but Peshawar has frequently been targeted by the Pakistani Taliban in the past.
A medical source told Reuters news agency around 30 others were injured with many in a critical condition and were being treated at Lady Reading hospital.
In a statement published on the website of state-run Radio Pakistan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif strongly condemned the attack and expressed grief over the loss of life. He said ‘such cowardly acts could not deter our resolve to weed out terrorism from the country’.
The blast happened in an unstable area of the country where Pakistani forces have increased their campaign against the Taliban and other militant groups which border alongside Afghanistan.
That campaign followed the attack at an army-run school in Peshawar in December 2014 where 150 people were killed, most of them children.
Tensions in Pakistan continue to intensify as sporadic attacks by militant groups on security forces and civilian targets persist.
It was only last week when a suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowded court in Shabqadar Bazaar in the Charsadda district.
17 people were killed and 31 others injured. The Taliban termed the bombing as ‘revenge’ for the execution of the killer of liberal Punjab province governor, Salman Taseer.