More than 60 people killed in multiple Pakistan attacks

2017-06-24 17:04
Four unknown attackers riding on two motorcycles shot the policemen when they were sitting a roadside restaurant at SITE area in western Karachi for the breaking their fast. (Asif Hassan, AFP)

Four unknown attackers riding on two motorcycles shot the policemen when they were sitting a roadside restaurant at SITE area in western Karachi for the breaking their fast. (Asif Hassan, AFP)

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Peshawar - Multiple blasts and a gun attack killed more than 60 people and wounded at least 170 in three Pakistani cities on the last Friday of Ramadan, Islam's holiest month, as officials warned the toll could rise.

Authorities said 37 people were killed and more than 150 wounded when twin blasts tore through a market in Parachinar, capital of Kurram district, a mainly Shi'ite area of Pakistan's tribal belt.

Local official Nasrullah Khan said that the first blast detonated as the market was crowded with shoppers preparing for the Eid ul-Fitr festival marking the end of Ramadan.

"When people rushed to the site... to rescue the wounded, a second blast took place," he said.

Basir Khan Wazir, the top government official in Parachinar later said that apparently both the blasts were carried out by two suicide bombers.

"We have transported 15 injured to Peshawar but condition of 15 to 20 injured people were critical," Wazir said and warned that the death toll could rise.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called for security to be beefed up across the country as he condemned the attack, saying that no Muslim could ever imagine committing such a "horrific" act.

Pakistan has seen a dramatic improvement in security in the last two years, but groups such as the umbrella Pakistani Taliban and other extremist outfits still retain the ability to carry out attacks.

Local lawmaker Sajid Hussain Turi, the owner of the market, said bazaars in Parachinar had been barricaded off and vehicles banned from the area after multiple attacks have hit the city this year.

Jamaat-ul-Ahrar

Parachinar was the location of the first major militant attack in Pakistan in 2017, a bomb in a market which killed 24 people in January and was claimed by the Pakistani Taliban. In March a second Taliban attack killed a further 22 people.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Friday's attack.

Kurram, one of Pakistan's seven semi-autonomous tribal districts, is known for sectarian clashes between Sunnis and Shi'ites, who make up roughly 20% of Pakistan's population of 200 million.

The twin blasts in Parachinar followed a bombing earlier in the day in southwestern Quetta, capital of insurgency-wracked Balochistan province, that killed at least 13 people.

Investigators said the attack targeted police. It was claimed by both the local affiliate of the Islamic State group and by Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA), an offshoot of the Pakistani Taliban, according to the SITE monitoring group.

There was no immediate explanation for the dual claims. Islamic State Khorasan Province, the Middle Eastern group's affiliate in Afghanistan and Pakistan, has been known to work with the myriad of Pakistani militant groups in previous attacks, including with JuA.

Officials at the city's Civil Hospital said at least 13 people were killed and around 20 injured, mostly by shrapnel. Police officials said nine policemen were among the dead.

Read more on:    isis  |  pakistan

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