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Twin explosions in main Parachinar market kill 39

Updated July 26, 2013

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Villagers injured in a bomb blast recover at at a local hospital in Parachinar. -AP Photo
Villagers injured in a bomb blast recover at at a local hospital in Parachinar. -AP Photo
A man, who was injured in a blast, stands at a hospital in Parachinar. -Reuters Photo
A man, who was injured in a blast, stands at a hospital in Parachinar. -Reuters Photo

PESHAWAR: Twin explosions at the main market in Parachinar in Kurram tribal region on Friday killed at least 39 people and wounded up to 140 others, officials said.

The bombs went off in two places in the bazaar as people were buying food to open their daily fasts.

“The first bomb was planted on a motorcycle in the main Parachinar Bazaar,” Riaz Mahsud, political agent in Kurram agency, told Dawn.com.

The second bomb detonated on the main School road about four minutes after the first, about 400 yards away from the initial blast. “Authorities are still trying to assess the nature of the second blast,” said Mahsud.

“39 bodies have been transferred to the hospital, while some bodies were taken directly from the spot. I can confirm the death of 39 people,” said Asghar Khan, another local administration official.

Meanwhile, Dr Zahid Hussain, a senior medical officer at the Agency Headquarters Hospital in Kurram, put the death toll at 40. Hussain said the explosions wounded at least 140 other people, 20 of whom were stated to be in critical condition.

Sources said that both explosions appear to be suicide attacks, but there was no official confirmation about the nature of the blasts as yet.

Earlier in the day, two persons were killed and six others were injured when an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) hit a pick-up van on Kurram tribal region's Sherko road on Friday.

Political administration officials told Dawn.com that a passenger van was travelling from Kurrams tribal region's north-western Alizai area to Parachinar when it was targeted by a planted road-side bomb.

Senior Medical Officer at the Agency Headquarters Hospital, Dr Zahid Hussain, said one person died on the spot while another succumbed to his injuries at the hospital. He added that six others victims with multiple wounds were under treatment at the hospital in Parachinar.

Kurram, the only part of Pakistan's border region that has a significant Shia population, has been racked by sectarian violence.

Lower 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.

The region was claimed by the military to have been cleared of insurgents during an operation a couple of years ago, however, militants still carry out sectarian attacks and also target security forces occasionally.