A suicide bomber in a pickup truck detonated explosives near several government offices in northwest Pakistan on Thursday, killing at least 32 people, in the latest violence to hit the country since the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack near Hangu. The devastation was likely to add to criticism of the government, already under fire over the unilateral U.S. operation to kill the al-Qaeda chief.

Hangu is just outside Pakistan's lawless tribal regions bordering Afghanistan. The areas are havens for al-Qaeda and other extremists, including Pakistani Taliban fighters who oppose Pakistan's U.S. alliance.

The attack came as Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, landed in Pakistan for talks with top military and civilian leaders.

- Associated Press

EndText