By Hamid Ullah Khan
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - A bomb exploded on a bus carrying government officials in the insurgency-plagued Pakistani city of Peshawar on Friday, killing at least 17 people, including two women, officials said.
The remote-control bomb struck on a main road in Peshawar, near the frontier tribal areas of the northwest where Islamist militants have their strongholds.
"We have so far received 17 bodies," said the spokesman of the Lady Reading Hospital. "There were several people on the roof of the bus, which was full, so we expect the death toll to rise."
The bus was carrying employees of the civil secretariat, said police officials.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the blast.
Islamist violence has been on the rise in Pakistan in past months, undermining Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's efforts to tame the insurgency by launching peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban.
Last week, a pair of suicide bombers blew themselves up outside a 130-year-old Anglican church in Peshawar, killing at least 81 people in the deadliest attack on Christians in the predominantly Muslim country.
(Writing by Mehreen Zahra-Malik; Editing by Nick Macfie)