PESHAWAR  – A suspected suicide bomb attack outside the Iranian consulate in the Pakistani city of Peshawar Monday killed two paramilitary soldiers and wounded 10 others, officials said.

The bombing took place in the upmarket University Town area of the northwestern city, where many non-government organisations are also based.

“We have two bodies of paramilitary soldiers and 10 wounded have been admitted to hospital,” said Farhad Khan, a spokesman for Khyber Teaching Hospital where the casualties were taken.

A senior police official, Mohammad Ejaz Ahmed, said it appeared to be a suicide bombing.

He said other paramilitary soldiers in the area fired in the air in panic after the bombing.

Mast Gol, commander of a group allied with the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Iran’s foreign ministry strongly condemned the bombing in a statement, the state broadcaster reported.

Its spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham called for “close cooperation” of regional countries to combat the “spread of terror acts and extremism, particularly (attacks) against diplomatic missions.”

Earlier this month, Pakistan entered into talks with the Taliban aimed at ending their seven-year insurgency.

But the militant group continued carrying out attacks on a near-daily basis, and the dialogue was suspended last week after the insurgents claimed they had executed 23 kidnapped soldiers in a northwestern tribal region.

Since then the air force has been carrying out attacks in the volatile tribal regions which border Afghanistan, killing dozens.