(Illustration) Scene of previous attack
(Illustration) Scene of previous attack Reuters

Sunday morning, an explosion ripped through a market in the north western Pakistani city of Peshawar, leaving at least 33 dead and dozens wounded. The city has been hit numerously by bombs and gun attacks by Taliban-linked insurgents in recent years. 

Officials say Sunday's bomb had exploded in the Kissa Khwani market, with shops and vehicles set alight. Police suspect it was caused by a car bomb. Pakistani bomb disposal chief, Shafqat Malik, told AFP that a parked car had been "converted into a remote controlled bomb".

One shop owner, Nazar Ali, told the Associated Press: "It was a huge blast that was followed by fire in vehicles. Thick black smoke covered the air and splinters spread all over. I saw people lying dead and bleeding."

Officials estimated around 76 people were injured in the explosion. An emergency situation was declared at the Lady Reading Hospital as it received the injured, many of them badly burned.

This explosion comes a week after a double suicide bombing that killed at least 80 people at a church in the city. On Friday, at least 17 people were killed in the bombing of a bus carrying government employees near Peshawar.

Failing peace talks

Rising violence has hindered new Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's overtures to end the insurgency through peace talks with the Taliban.

On September 21st, Pakistan released the co-founder of the Afghan Taliban, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, from prison in hopes of appeasing the Pakistan Taliban, but instead they have consistently rejected the country's constitution and have demand the imposition of Sharia law.

Prime Minister Sharif is in New York at the UN and is to meet Indian PM Manmohan Singh later on Sunday. Sharif strongly condemned the Peshawar bombing in a message from New York, calling it an attack on humanity.