- Associated Press - Thursday, February 23, 2012

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — A powerful car bomb ripped through an outdoor minibus terminal in northwestern Pakistan on Thursday, killing at least 12 people, including four children, officials said.

The blast tore through a dozen vehicles waiting to transport passengers from the city of Peshawar to other areas of the country. Some of the minibuses were blackened and completely destroyed. There were 32 wounded, including women and children,

Peshawar is located near the border with Pakistan’s tribal region, the main sanctuary for Pakistani Taliban fighters at war with the government, and has been a frequent target of the militants.

Violence has dropped off significantly in the city and other areas of Pakistan over the past year following army offensives against the Pakistani Taliban in the northwest.

But attacks still occur almost daily.

Dilawar Khan was sitting at his shop at the terminal when the bomb went off. The blast killed two of his sons, one 12 years old and the other 13, who had stopped by on their way home for lunch from school.

“What have my sons done wrong,” the 45-year-old Khan wailed, beating his face with his hands. “God should destroy these terrorists.”

Rescue workers transported the wounded to a local hospital, as well as the bodies of at least 12 people killed, said Jameel Shah, a hospital official in Peshawar.

The dead included four children, said Zahir Shah, another health official in the city.

The wounded included women and children, said police officer Afzal Khan.

The car bomb was loaded with nearly 100 pounds (45 kilograms) of explosives, said city police chief Siraj Ahmed.

It’s unclear why the bus terminal was targeted.

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