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Death toll in Parachinar blasts rises to 57

Updated July 27, 2013

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Residents gather at the site of twin bomb explosions in Parachinar, the main town of Kurram tribal district, July 26, 2013. — Photo by AFP
Residents gather at the site of twin bomb explosions in Parachinar, the main town of Kurram tribal district, July 26, 2013. — Photo by AFP
Villagers injured in Parachinar's bomb blasts at a local hospital in the northwestern town. — Photo by AP
Villagers injured in Parachinar's bomb blasts at a local hospital in the northwestern town. — Photo by AP

PARACHINAR/PESHAWAR: Another 12 people wounded in Friday’s twin blasts that ripped through a congested market and a taxi stand in northwestern Pakistan’s Parachinar town succumbed to their injuries on Saturday, increasing the death toll to 57.

Hospital official Shabir Hussain and Shia leader Hamid Ali said Saturday that another 167 were wounded in Friday's bombings in the town of Parachinar, which sits in the Kurram tribal area that borders Afghanistan to the west.

Hussain said almost all the dead and wounded were Shias. Moreover, Ali said at the time of the explosion the market was full of Shias, who were buying items for their evening meal that breaks the daytime fast during the holy month of Ramazan.

''We demand protection. We request the government to take action against those who routinely kill our people,'' he told The Associated Press.

One of the blasts was carried out by a suicide bomber while the other might have been a planted one, Political Agent Riaz Mehsud said.

Residents said the blasts occurred within an interval of a few seconds about two hours before Iftar. The first blast occurred at the main chowk near a mosque where a large number of people were busy purchasing food items.

The second blast took place at a taxi stand on the School Road, causing damage to shops and vehicles.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack.

Parachinar is some 250 kilometres west of Peshawar and has a population of 50,000. In the wake of sectarian clashes in 2007 army and paramilitary forces set up several checkpoints on roads leading to the town.

Kurram, the tribal region of which Parachinar is the main town, the only part of Pakistan's border region that has a significant Shia population, has been racked by sectarian violence.