Pakistani Taliban claims responsibility for attack that killed seven Shias in city of Rawalpindi.
A strike is being observed in the Pakistani city of Taunsa over the deaths of seven people killed on Wednesday in a suicide bomb attack.
The attack targetted the office of Sardar Amjad Khosa, a member of the country’s National Assembly from the Pakistan Muslim League (N), in the southern part of Punjab province.
Another nine people were injured, with six said to be in a critical condition.
Amjad Khosa was not at his office at the time of the blast but condemned it as an act of terrorism. “My close friends are among the dead and injured,” he told state-run Pakistan Television.
In response to the attack, residents have closed down all shops, educational institutions and petrol pumps in the city for the day.
A spokesman for the Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Jamaat ul Ahrar (TTPJA) faction, Ehsanullah Ehsan, claimed that his group had carried out the attack, and vowed that further attacks would continue until Islamic law is implemented in Pakistan.
“We want to make it clear to the Pakistani rulers that your policies and military operations can’t weaken our determinations in attacking our targets,” he said in an email to media organisations.
This latest attack comes two months after a pair of suicide bombers detonated their explosives in the hometown of anti-Taliban provincial minister Shuja Khanzada, killing him and 17 others. The TTPJA also claimed responsibility for that bombing.
The TTPJA split from the Pakistan Taliban in 2014, but announced earlier this year that it would be rejoining.
Since last summer, the Pakistani army has been battling the Pakistan Taliban in the tribal region of North Waziristan, on the border with Afghanistan.