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Vegetable market blast toll rises to 25
January 23, 2017
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PESHAWAR: A government official says the death toll from a bomb blast in the Kurram tribal region has risen to 25 after three injured people died overnight.

Shahid Khan, an assistant tribal administrator, said on Sunday an investigation revealed that 12 kilogrammes of explosives improvised with steal balls were used in the bombing. The attack took place in the crowded fruit and vegetable market in the Shiite dominated town of Parachinar near the Afghan border on Saturday.

Khan said more than 50 wounded were still being treated, some in critical condition.

Khan said some vendors were detained for questioning.

“The number of dead people from the blast is now 24 as four more injured have lost their lives,” Naseerullah Khan, an administration official in the region, told AFP, adding the number of wounded stood at 90.

“Some 33 injured are being treated in the district hospital in Kurram while 25 have been shifted to a military hospital in Peshawar. Others with minor injuries have been discharged after first aid,” Khan said.

The new toll was confirmed by police officials.

Condemnations

Meanwhile, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has condemned the bomb attack that targeted a market in the Kurram tribal region.

The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) quoted an official source at the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs as expressing the Kingdom’s condolences to the families of victims and to the government and people of Pakistan, wishing for a speedy recovery for the injured.

The Kingdom of Bahrain has also condemned the Parachinar bombing.

Bahrain News Agency (BNA) quoted a statement of the Bahraini Ministry of Foreign Affairs as reiterating Bahrain’s firm position that renounces violence and terrorism in all their forms and manifestations, whatever their motives and causes.

The statement expressed Bahrain’s condolences to the families, wishing for a speedy recovery for the injured.

Video footage from Saturday showed chaotic scenes with people running and shouting in panic and victims strewn in front of vegetable stalls among smashed crates and pushcarts.

Ikramullah Khan, a senior government official in Parachinar, said that the blast was caused by an IED (improvised explosive device) hidden in a vegetable box.

In a telephone call to AFP, the Hakimullah Mehsud faction of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), claimed responsibility for the attack.

“It was to avenge the killing of our associates by security forces and to teach a lesson to Shiites for their support for Bashar al-Assad,” said the group’s spokesman, Qari Saifullah, referring to the Syrian president.

Saifullah warned that his Sunni Muslim group will continue attacking Shiites if they back Assad, whose regime is entrenched in a civil war that began in 2011 and has claimed more than 310,000 lives.

In December 2015 an IED blast at the same market killed at least 23 people and wounded more than 30.

Kurram is one of Pakistan’s seven semi-autonomous tribal districts which are governed according to local laws and customs.

The district is known for sectarian clashes between Sunnis and Shiites, who make up roughly 20 percent of Pakistan’s population of 200 million.

Agencies

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