60+ peo­ple killed in mul­ti­ple Pak­istan at­tacks

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - National/international News -

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. 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. — AFP

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