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Anger grows in Parachinar after three attacks in six months

Updated June 26, 2017

Members of the Shia community in Parachinar protested Monday as the death toll from twin blasts three days earlier rose to 72, marking a grisly Eid for the town worst hit by militancy so far in 2017.

Officials confirmed that five more injured of Friday’s blasts died in hospital, which pushed the death toll to 72. At least 10 others are said to be in precarious condition.

Dozens of protesters offered their Eid prayers wearing black armbands in the market in Parachinar, where the bombs tore through crowds of shoppers on Friday, local officials said.

Local administration official Basir Khan Wazir told AFP that officials were trying to negotiate with the protesters.

Parachinar, capital of Kurram Agency, a mainly Shia area in the tribal belt, had already suffered two deadly bomb blasts in its markets this year.

It was the site of the first major attack in Pakistan in 2017, when a bomb killed 24 people in January in an attack claimed by the banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi al-Alami and a splinter group of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) led by Sheheryar Mehsud.

In March, a second attack in another market killed 22 people. The attack was claimed by the Jamaatul Ahrar.

Friday's assault ─ also claimed by the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi al-Alami ─ brought the town's loss of life due to terror attacks up to 115, more than any one city in Pakistan has suffered so far this year.

“We have been a constant target of the Taliban but the government has always failed us,” Muzamil Hussain, an activist from Parachinar told AFP Friday.

Authorities have said that after the first two attacks, checkposts and barriers were set up around the city's markets.

“I don't understand how can someone drive a bomb-laden vehicle through all the checkposts of the military and other paramilitary troops and reach here, it simply isn't logical, and this is what we are protesting against,” he said.

The Parachinar blasts were the deadliest in a series of militant attacks across Pakistan Friday which killed at least 85 people, unnerving citizens ahead of Eid.

In Quetta at least 14 people including 10 policemen were killed in a blast targeting police that was claimed by both the militant Islamic State group and the Jamaatul Ahrar, and in Karachi four policemen were killed in a drive-by shooting as they opened their fast at a roadside restaurant.