Twin suicide bombings at a massive weapons factory near Pakistan's capital killed 50 people and wounded 70 Thursday, dashing hopes for an end to turmoil following Pervez Musharraf's ouster as president.
The ruling coalition government - made up of traditional rivals who were united primarily in their determination to force Musharraf from office - meanwhile appeared veering toward collapse.
The two main parties have been unable to bridge key differences, such as whether judges fired by Musharraf should be quickly reinstated and who should succeed him as president.
Pakistanis have urged the civilian government to stop bickering and turn quickly to tackling the country's problems, including an economic downturn and extremist violence in the volatile northwest, where fighting between security forces and Islamic militants has escalated in recent weeks.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for Thursday's blasts at the government arms factory 20 miles (35 kilometers) west of Islamabad, which occurred as workers were on a shift change.
Maulvi Umar, a spokesman for Pakistani Taliban groups, told The Associated Press the attacks were in revenge for military airstrikes in Bajur, a militant stronghold near the Afghan border.
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>