PARACHINAR (Staff Report) – At least 24 were killed while another 50 injured in a bomb blast in Eidgah area of Parachinar city.
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According to Political Administration, the incident happened at the entry gate of a crowded market. Children were also among the dead.
Rescue teams immediately reached the blast site and rushed the injured to nearby hospitals where as many as seven people are said to be in serious condition.
An emergency has been imposed at DHQ Parachinar.
The aid workers fear that death toll may rise as the blast was so powerful and it directly affected the people.
The market was bustling with people who were out shopping for clothes. As winter season arrives locals throng lunda (used clothes markets) bazaars to buy used and second-hand clothes.
Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) said the explosion was result of a timed device bomb. “Around 30 to 35 kilograms of explosives were used in the blast,” a BDS official told the media.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has ordered for compensation to be paid to the victims within the next two days.
Security forces cordoned off the area as a probe into the blast went under way.
No individual or group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.
Security sources said that two suspects have been taken into custody from the blast site.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif condemned the blast.
Kurram is one of the most sensitive tribal areas as it borders three Afghan provinces and at one point was one of the key routes for militant movement across the border. It has witnessed scores of such attacks and kidnappings for ransom incidents in the past several years.
The agency is adjacent to North Waziristan where Operation Zarb-i-Azb is in progress against the Tehreek-i-Taliban and other insurgent groups. The military had also launched an offensives against militants in 2011.
Parachinar is the administrative headquarters of the agency near the Afghan border.
It is small garrison town developed by the British Army in the foothill of Spin Ghar (White Mountain) in mid-1895. The town total population is about 40,000 comprising people of different tribes, races and faiths.