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PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — A car bomb killed nine people close to the main northwestern city of Peshawar on Wednesday, the latest in a rash of attacks that are challenging police claims of progress against Islamist militants in the region.
Twenty others were wounded in the blast on a main road leading to Pakistan's border area with Afghanistan, said government official Siraj Ahmed Khan. Three children were among the dead.
The target of the bombing was not immediately clear. It was the third major bombing in or near the city in the last week.
Government and security force targets in Peshawar have been often attacked by the Pakistani Taliban, who have bases close to Afghanistan. Pakistani forces have traditionally had very little presence or authority in the tribally ruled region.
In December, city police chief Liaquat Ali Khan pointed to a drop in attacks in 2010 as evidence that authorities had "broken the back" of the insurgency in Peshawar. He said the improvement was because of police and army operations close to the border and more patrols and checkpoints in the city.
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