Fighting Intensifies in Pakistan

New blast kills at least 41 people as Pakistani Army readies ground assault

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    AP
    Activists of Pakistani religious party Jamat-i-Islami rally against the U. S. supported Kerry-Lugar bill for Pakistan, in Karachi, Pakistan Friday, Oct. 2, 2009. The bill, approved by a voice vote in the House, would provide Pakistan with $1.5 billion in aid a year over the next five years focused on democratic, economic and social development programs.

    At least 41 people have died in a suicide car blast that targeted an army vehicle Monday in a market area near Pakistan’s northwest Swat region, The Associated Press reported.

    There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast in Shangala district, which comes after a week of bombings elsewhere in the country by the Pakistani Taliban. On Monday, the Taliban confirmed responsibility for a brazen siege on an army headquarters that killed 23.

    Meanwhile, Pakistan’s military pounded the Taliban by air in the South Waziristan region along the border with Afghanistan ahead of a planned ground invasion there, The Associated Press reported. The assault reportedly killed at least eight extremists.

    The latest attacks occurred as President Obama is weighing whether to send more reinforcements to neighboring Afghanistan or to step up military operations along the Afghan-Pakistan border.

    Get more: MSNBC