A bomb blast claimed by the Taliban killed eight people near a Muharram procession in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Saturday.
Four boys were among the dead and 30 other people were injured when the remote-controlled bomb packed with ball bearings exploded on the outskirts of Dera Ismail Khan city, police said.
The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility.
“We carried out the attack,” spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location. “The government can make whatever security arrangements it wants but it cannot stop our attacks.”
The Taliban had dispatched more than 20 suicide bombers across the country for attacks on the minority community, he said.
Authorities subsequently ordered heightened security, with services for mobile phones — which are often used to trigger bombs — suspended in major cities.
But that did not prevent Saturday’s attack. Police said a 10-kilogramme (22-pound) bomb was hidden in a dustbin on the procession route and its powerful blast could be heard several kilometres away.
Seven people, including the four children, died soon after the blast and a man died later Saturday from his wounds in hospital, hospital officials told AFP.
“Two are still in critical condition,” said doctor Azhar Ali, deputy chief of Nishtar Hospital in the central city of Multan.
City police chief Khalid Suhail said the dead children were aged between six and 11 years. “They were young boys,” he said, adding that two of them were brothers.