Death Toll Rising in Twin Bombing in Pakistan

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LAHORE, Pakistan - Two bombs, detonated within seconds of one another at a market in Lahore, Pakistan's second largest city, has killed at least 49 people.

Police believe a suicide bomber may have set off the first bomb by remote control before detonating the explosives he was carrying.

Lahore, located in in eastern Pakistan less than 20 miles from the border with India, has been hit a number of times over the past year.

This time, the terrorists targeted Moon Market, where families often shop for clothing and shoes or enjoy one of the market's restaurants.

One police officer estimated some 150 people were injured in the attack.

The twin blasts occurred just hours after a suicide bomber killed 10 people outside a courthouse in Peshawar in northwestern Pakistan.

Islamic terrorists have stepped up their attacks recently, targeting citizens and security forces alike, calling the bombings retaliation against an increasing government offensive in northwest Pakistan near the border with Afghanistan, where the Taliban is entrenched.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for attacks against security forces, but denies targeting the civilian population.

Pakistani officials believe the Taliban is behind all the attacks.

Meanwhile in Washington, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the U.S. is ready to work more closely with Pakistan, pointing out that they may be "more open" to help from the U.S. "the more they get attacked internally."

"We are prepared to expand that relationship at any pace they are prepared to accept," Gates said.

Earlier, three villagers were killed by a suspected U.S. air strike in Mir Ali in North Waziristan, neighboring South Waziristan, where the Pakistani army has stepped up its offensive against the Taliban.

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