At least 22 killed in explosion in NW Pakistan

Blast hits market in Parachinar near Afghan border 

At least 22 killed in explosion in NW Pakistan

World Bulletin / News Desk

At least 22 people have been killed and dozens injured in an explosion in a crowded market in northwestern Pakistan on Friday, officials and local media reported.

The blast hit a busy market in the far flung town of Parachinar near the Afghan border and injured over 50 people, according to local administration official Ikramullah Khan.

There was no official word on the nature of the blast but initial investigations have suggested that a bomb was planted in a car parked outside a Shia mosque in the town’s main market: However, a local parliamentarian, Sajid Hussain Tori said it was the act of a suicide bomber.

Authorities fear a rise in the death toll as several injured are said to be in a critical condition.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the apparent attack. However hardline Sunni group, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has claimed responsibility for previous attacks in the town, including one in January that had killed 25 people.

Footage aired on local Express TV showed several vehicles with their windscreens, and windows shattered by shrapnel. Pieces of human flesh, clothes, shoes, glasses, and other belongings lay scattered around the site covered in blood.

Ali Afzaal, a local resident told Anadolu Agency by telephone that a number of injured were transported to the hospital in private cars, and even on motorbikes due to shortage of ambulances.

Pakistan army said it had flown helicopters to the town for swift evacuation of injured to hospitals Peshawar and other towns.

Parachinar, located 137 kilometers west of Peshawar, is the only Shia-dominated tribal area in Pakistan and has regularly been the target of terrorist attacks.

The latest attack follows the revival of controversial military courts in the country on Friday to try the hardcore militants for speedy trial.

Pakistan army has been engaged in an anti-terrorism operation in the restive tribal belt along the Afghanistan border since 2014 claiming to have killed over 5000 suspected militants. Over 700 troops have also lost their lives in landmine blasts, and clashes during this period. 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 31 Mart 2017, 14:01