Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) - Just a few hours after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Islamabad, a massive car bomb exploded in a crowded market frequented by women in the northwest city of Peshawar, a two-hour drive away.
The city lies near Pakistan's tribal areas where al Qaeda and other extremist groups are believed to be hiding.
Condemning what she called "vicious attacks," Clinton called those who carry them out "cowards."
"They are not courageous, they are cowardly," she told reporters, speaking slowly and deliberately. "If the people behind these attacks were so sure of their beliefs, let them join the political process. Let them come forth to the people of Pakistan in this democracy and make their case that they don't want girls to go to school. That they want women to be kept back."