Death toll in Pakistan attacks climbs to 56

Bruno Cirelli
Giugno 26, 2017

Officials in Quetta said the number of dead had risen by one to 14 after a blast in the southwestern city which targeted police.

At least 80 people were killed in three separate attacks, as a suicide bomber detonated a vehicle near the police chief's office in Quetta, a pair of explosions targeted a market in Parachinar and armed men opened fire on police in Karachi. Both of those attacks were claimed by another militant group, the Jamaat ur Ahrar faction of the Pakistani Taliban.

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a sectarian Sunni extremist group, claimed the twin bombings at a crowded market in Parachinar, a Shiite-dominated town. Security forces raided a militant hideout in the northwestern city of Peshawar before dawn Saturday, triggering a shootout in which three Pakistani Tailban were killed, senior police official Sajjad Khan said.

Over 70 people have been killed in three separate attacks across Pakistan.

Bomb Disposal Squad of police said that around 75 kilograms of explosives along ball bearings and unbolts were used in the attack.

"We fear that the death toll will increase", Khan said, adding that no further details were available yet. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the attacks, saying terrorists were attacking soft targets.

Parachinar is the capital of Kurram, one of Pakistan's seven semi-autonomous tribal districts, which has a history of sectarian clashes between Sunnis and Shiites.

The same day, two consecutive bomb blasts ripped through a market in Parachinar, as people shopped for the Eid al-Fitr feast at the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

The third major attack to rock Parachinar this year, the blasts struck hours before iftar, when the streets are often crowded with people shopping for food to break their fast with the evening Ramadan meal.

Friday's auto bombing in Quetta could be heard across the city, and shattered the windows of nearby buildings, said police spokesman Shahzada Farhat.

TV footage showed several badly damaged cars and a road littered with broken glass. It also released a photograph of the alleged attacker, identified as Abu Othman al-Khorasani.

Hussain said a severed head of a man was found near the scene of blasts, indicating the second attack in Parachinar might have been carried out by a suicide bomber but officers are still investigating to determine the exact nature of bombings.

Quetta is the capital of Baluchistan province, which has always been the scene of a low-level insurgency by Baluch nationalists and separatists, who want a bigger share of the region's resources or outright independence.

According to the local media reports, the twin explosions were triggered with remote-controlled devices, however no group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

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