Parachinar suicide blasts death toll jumps to 57
Saturday Jul 27, 2013
PARACHINAR/KOHAT: The death toll from Friday night's twin suicide blasts, which struck a busy market in Parachinar, has jumped to 57 as more of the injured succumbed to their wounds later.
Riaz Mehsud, Political Agent of Kurram Agency, said the suicide bombers came on motorbikes and blew themselves up in the Parachinar bazaar. He said around 400 persons were busy shopping for Iftar in the narrow roadside markets when the suicide blasts took place.
Riaz Mehsud, the political agent in Kurram agency, confirmed the latest death toll.
“One suicide bomber blew himself up first in one corner of the bazaar and a minute later the second bomber carried out the attack in another corner, causing widespread destruction,” he said.
He said all the injured had been shifted to the public sector Agency Headquarters Hospital in Parachinar where emergency had already been declared and all hospital staff called for duty.
“We received 72 injured persons and among them more than a dozen are in critical condition. We may shift them to Peshawar for better treatment,” said Dr Gul Hussain from Parachinar on phone.
A Parachinar resident Amjad Hussain said a large number of tribesmen were busy shopping mostly for eatables for breaking their fast when the blast took place. “I saw people running for their lives when the first blast took place in one corner of the bazaar. Just then another blast occurred. The next thing I saw were human bodies and the injured lying all over the place,” he recalled. He said the local people shifted the injured to the hospital on self-help basis.
Another local tribesman, Gulfat Hussain said many people died before they could be shifted to hospital due to lack of immediate medical care. “Announcements were made from loudspeakers in the mosques appealing to the people to come to hospital and donate blood for the injured people,” he said.
Heavy contingent of security forces rushed to the spot and cordoned off the area after the blast.Meanwhile, a communique by commissioner Kohat Division stated that 34 persons were killed and more than 80 were injured in the twin suicide blasts in Parachinar.
Earlier, two persons were killed and seven others sustained injuries when a double-cabin pickup vehicle was attacked with an improvised explosive device (IED) in the Kharpati area in lower Kurram Agency on Friday.
The sources said the vehicle carrying passengers was heading to Parachinar when it was targeted with an IED planted along the roadside.
Parachinar, inhabited by Shias like the rest of upper Kurram Agency, has suffered terrorist attacks in the past as well.
For almost four years, the main road from Thall to Parachinar was blocked due to the attacks by Pakistani Taliban militants and passengers had to use the Afghanistan route to drive to Torkham before entering Pakistan.
The road was eventually opened by the security forces, but the passenger vehicles still need a security escort to pass safely through the Sunni-populated lower Kurram valley where some of the militants are still operating.
Meanwhile, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Shaukatullah directed the commissioner Kohat and political agent Kurram Agency to provide better medical treatment to the victims of the twin blasts in Parachinar.
Meanwhile, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), through one of its front organisations, claimed responsibility for the two bomb explosions in Parachinar.
Talking to reporters from an undisclosed location by phone, a spokesman for the proscribed TTP’s sub-network, Ansarul Mujahideen, said it was behind the bombings. The spokesman, Abu Baseer claimed responsibility for the twin blasts in Parachinar. “The suicide bombers of Ansarul Mujahideen carried out the twin suicide attacks in Parachinar on Friday and the target were members of the Shia community,” the spokesman claimed.
He said the attacks were carried out to seek revenge of alleged atrocities by the Shia community on Sunni Muslims in Syria and Iraq. “We have planned more similar attacks against the Shia community in Pakistan to seek revenge of the brutalities of Shia on Sunni Muslims in Syria and Iraq,” Abu Baseer warned.
APP adds from Islamabad: President Asif Ali Zardari has strongly condemned the blasts in Parachinar that claimed 45 precious lives while injuring many others.The president expressed sympathies with the bereaved families and prayed for eternal peace of those who embraced martyrdom as a result of the terrorist activity.