US condemns deadly Pakistan bombing
Washington - The US denounced a remote-controlled bomb blast on Tuesday that killed 35 people and wounded 60 others in the Taliban-hit tribal region of northwest Pakistan.
"The United States strongly condemns today's bombing at a marketplace in Jamrud, in the Khyber agency," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters.
"By callously targeting innocent peoples, the extremists who planned and perpetrated this attack are just showing their contempt for the value of human life," she said, offering condolences to the victims' families and friends.
"We remain deeply committed to working with Pakistan to address these kinds of terrorist threats and the results of violent extremism," she said.
"We've seen the reports, some claiming that there are al-Qaeda hands behind this. Frankly, we're not in a position to confirm one way or the other," Nuland said.
The explosion took place in a market in Jamrud, one of the towns of the troubled Khyber tribal region, which also used to serve as the main supply route for Nato forces operating in Afghanistan.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing but local residents suggested it was a tribal dispute, as most of the victims were members of the Zaka Khel tribe who oppose the local warlord, Mangal Bagh.
Pakistan's remote and lawless north-western region is a stronghold of Taliban and al-Qaeda operatives and other Islamist militants opposed to the government.
Insurgents largely based in the tribal border lands have carried out bomb and gun attacks killing nearly 4 800 people across Pakistan since July 2007.
But the market bombing was the first major Islamist militant attack in Pakistan since September 15 when a suicide bomber killed 46 people, targeting anti-Taliban militia at a funeral in the district of Lower Dir.