ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A suicide car bomber attacked a market in northwestern Pakistan Tuesday, killing 24 people and showing militants' willingness to target civilians in their war against the government.
Taliban insurgents apparently hope the attacks will weaken the army's resolve to wage an offensive against the group's stronghold along the Afghan border. But the indiscriminate killing could backfire by further turning the public against Islamist extremists, as happened in Iraq.
The bombing was the fourth in about a month to target a market in or near Peshawar. More than 200 have been killed in attacks in the past few years.
The van that exploded outside the market in Charsadda was packed with some 90 pounds of explosives, said Liaqat Ali Khan, the senior police chief in the surrounding North West Frontier Province.
Three women and three children were among dead, said Khan. Another 64 were wounded.