The death toll from a suicide attack on a volleyball match in north-west Pakistan on Friday has continued to rise, as rescuers searched for bodies at the scene.

Ninety-three people are confirmed dead after the bombing in Lakki Marwat.

Police say old people and children were watching the game when the bomber drove his vehicle onto the field.

It was the deadliest attack since a Peshawar bombing in October killed 120.

More than 600 people have died in militant attacks in Pakistan since the beginning of October, most of them believed to be in reprisal for the Pakistani army's new campaign against the Taliban.

The Pakistani army's operation in South Waziristan, which began in October, was billed as the turning point in the country's fight against the Taliban.

The military says things have gone extremely well, and that it now controls most of that former Taliban stronghold.

But the period since the offensive started has coincided with a massive upsurge in militant attacks.

The government says the hitting of soft civilian targets, as the one in Lakki Marwat, is proof that the militants are getting desperate, and know the authorities have the upper hand. Most Pakistanis will be unconvinced of that.

An attack on a sporting event is unusual, and no group has admitted the blast, but analysts say that is not uncommon when large numbers of civilians are killed.

Police say it may have been retaliation for attempts by Lakki Marwat residents to get rid of militants.

"Locals set up a militia and expelled the militants from this area. This attack seems to be a reaction to their expulsion," district police chief Ayub Khan told reporters.

Body parts remained strewn across the field yesterday morning and emergency services were still searching the rubble of surrounding buildings destroyed in the attack.

On Friday evening, one witness described people using vehicle headlights to search for victims in the dark.