ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, June 13 (UPI) -- At least 34 people were killed and 80 people injured in bomb blasts 4 minutes apart that rocked a Peshawar neighborhood market area late Saturday.
"The first blast was quite small but as people gathered close to the site of the explosion the second one, which was a real big one, went off," local police told media.
Among the dead in the Khyber Supermarket area were two journalists working for local English-language newspapers Pakistan Today and News International, whose offices adjoined the restaurant in which the first bomb went off.
At least 18 people were in serious condition in hospital, police said.
The first bomb went off at 11:45 p.m., drawing people, including journalists, and policemen to the scene to help.
Witnesses said the second explosion appeared to come from a suicide bomber on a motorcycle that appeared on the scene.
The second blast shattered the front wall of the building, sending debris onto the rescuers and local residents who were trying to help those injured in the first explosion.
Fires broke out in the building and had to be extinguished before rescue teams could enter, video footage on the local Geo Television station indicated.
One witness, a student, said that when the smoke cleared he saw body parts along the road and people walking around dazed and crying.
Rahimullah Yusufzai, editor of the News International newspaper, told the BBC he was in his office when the blast happened.
"First there was a small blast," he said.
"We thought it was a gas cylinder which had exploded. Many people then ran toward the site of the blast and then the second big explosion took place which was heard far and wide. This is how the militants operate. There is, in almost all cases, a smaller blast then a bigger one when the police and the media arrive."
The market area bombing comes after a bombing on the outskirts of Peshawar last week that left four people dead, including a woman and a child. The bomb was planted in a pile of garbage along the roadside in the Matani area, police said.
While the United States has expressed concern about the security situation in Pakistan, Pakistani army chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani and Inter-Services Intelligence leader Lt. Gen. Ahmad Shuja Pasha told visiting CIA Director Leon Panetta that no U.S. combat soldiers or covert operations would be allowed in Pakistan.
"He (Panetta) expressed concerns over the reduction of trainers and operatives. We told him very clearly 'no boots on our soil is acceptable'," a Pakistani military official told media.
Panetta, who has been nominated to replace Robert Gates as defense secretary, reportedly discussed issues arising from the U.S. operation in Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden last month. That operation was reportedly carried out without the knowledge Pakistani intelligence.
Pakistani military officials said they agreed with Panetta for more "active intelligence sharing on both sides," but no U.S. soldiers to be deployed.
"Any action against the militants will be taken by our forces alone but we will share intelligence on militants actively," an official said.