LAHORE, Pakistan – A pair of remote-controlled bombs ripped through a market popular with women in this eastern Pakistani city Monday, killing 16 people and wounding 100, authorities said.
The attacks, timed to take place when Lahore's Moon Market was as its busiest, left cars and shops on fire. A 2-year-old was among the dead, a police officer said.
They came hours after a suicide bomber killed 10 outside a courthouse in the northwestern city of Peshawar.
Islamist militants have carried out scores of bloody bombings in Pakistan in recent weeks as the army presses an offensive against a Taliban stronghold in the northwest close to the Afghan border.
Most have been directed at security forces, though several have targeted crowded public spaces such as markets, apparently to cause terror and increase pressure on the government to call a halt to the offensive. More than 400 people have been killed.
The Taliban generally claim responsibility for those killing security officers, but do not admit to carrying out the attacks targeting purely civilian targets. Government officials and security analysts say there is little doubt the militants are behind all the attacks.
Moon Market sells clothes and shoes and is especially popular with women and their children.
Lahore police officer Chaudry Shafiq said 16 people were killed. Another officer said around 100 people wounded.
Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said the bombs were apparently remote-controlled devices.
"There was a blast. Then there was another," said Mohammad Nauman, who was bleeding from his nostrils. "Nobody knew what was happening. Everybody was running. There was fire everywhere."
Lahore is Pakistan's second-largest city and is not far from the border with India. It has been hit several times by militants over the past year, including an attack on the visiting Sri Lankan cricket team and several strikes against security installations.