Blast Kills 20 in Central Pakistan

Officials say the blast ripped through a market Tuesday near the home of a politician in the town of Dera Ghazi Khan.

Pakistani officials say a suspected car bomb has killed at least 20 people and wounded 60 others in central Pakistan.

Officials say the blast ripped through a busy market Tuesday near the home of a politician in the town of Dera Ghazi Khan.  Investigators say several buildings have been badly damaged and they fear many people may be trapped under rubble.

The attack is the latest in a series of bombings that has killed more than 500 people in Pakistan since October.

Officials say militants are retaliating for an army offensive against the Pakistani Taliban in the South Waziristan tribal region.

Last week, Pakistan's prime minister said the military's nearly three-month-old ground offensive in South Waziristan has been successful and officials are considering launching a new assault on strongholds in the Orakzai tribal agency.

The military released a statement Tuesday saying 17 suspected militants had been arrested and four had voluntarily surrendered within the past 24 hours of the operation.  The claims are difficult to verify because the military bars many reporters and aid workers from the region.

Pakistan's military says that overall, some 600 Taliban militants and 80 soldiers have been killed in the offensive.
 
 
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