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Central & South Asia

Twin blasts hit market in Pakistan

At least 57 people killed and over 150 injured in suicide attacks in northwestern city of Parachinar.

Last Modified: 27 Jul 2013 10:58
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Parachinar's main hospital was overwhelmed as injured sought medical attention after the blasts [Reuters]

At least 57 people have been killed and more than 150 injured after two suicide bombers on motorcycles hit a market in Parachinar, capital of the tribal Kurram area in northwest Pakistan, officials said.

Police spokesman Fazal Naeem Khan said the bombs went off in two places in the market on Friday as people were doing their evening shopping, some grabbing last-minute items to break their Ramadan fast.

"A lot of people usually throng roadside markets in Parachinar before sunset for Iftar [dinner] shopping," said tribesman Haider Ali. "Hundreds of people were present during the blasts and that's why the death toll was high."

 
The second bomb detonated about four minutes after the first, about 365 metres away from the initial blast, government official Javed Ali said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

Parachinar's main hospital was overwhelmed, as large numbers of people sought medical attention after the blasts.

"We have no place to keep the wounded," doctor Zahid Hussain said. "Many of them are lying on the hospital floor and on the lawn."

The Kurram tribal region, like much of northwest Pakistan, has been roiled by violence for years. Taliban fighters trying to overthrow the Pakistani government have carried out a campaign of suicide bombings and
shootings against Pakistan security forces and other targets.

Kurram is also frequently the scene of sectarian violence between Pakistan's Sunni Muslim majority and Shia minority.

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Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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