SHAFAQNA – At least 25 people are feared dead and over 100 injured after two subsequent explosions hit a densely populated area of Kurram Agency’s Parachinar city Friday evening, Sabir Hussain, the medical superintendent (MS) of the District General Hospital, Parachinar, said.
The MS has appealed for help, saying the hospital is not equipped to handle the large number of casualties.
This is the second major bombing incident reported in the country on the same day. Early morning, at least 13 people ─ including seven policeman ─ lost their lives, while 19 others were injured in a suicide blast that shook Shuhada Chowk in Quetta’s Gulistan Road area.
The twin blasts in Parachinar were reported to have occurred in Turi Market near Tal Adda, where a bus terminal is also located. The second explosion reportedly targetted rescuers and bystanders who rushed to aid those who had been hurt in the first blast.
The nature of the explosions was not immediately clear.
The explosions targeted people shopping in the area and those heading out of the city ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr, local political administration officials said.
Security forces have cordoned off the affected site and are conducting a search operation.
“Two Army aviation helicopters have taken off from Peshawar to Parachinar for the speedy evacuation of the injured to Peshawar,” a statement issued by the military’s media wing said.
“Rescue operation in progress,” it added.
Parachinar, with a population of more than 50,000, has been under strict security arrangements for quite some time. Army and paramilitary personnel have set up checkpoints on all routes leading to the town and visitors and vehicles go through extensive search and identification process.
On March 31 this year, the city had suffered a similar tragedy when 23 people were killed in a car bomb blast near an Imambargah at midday. More than 70 others were wounded in the attack. Another person had died later after security forces opened fire on a crowd trying to hold a demonstration in front of the political agent’s office in protest against increasing terrorist attacks.
Likewise, 25 people were killed and 87 others suffered injuries when a bomb went off during peak business hours at a crowded vegetable market in the city in January this year. In what appeared to be a sign of growing cooperation among extremists, two banned groups had come forward to claim the deadly assault, with one describing the incident as a suicide attack.
This is a developing story that is being updated as the situation evolves. Initial reports in the media can sometimes be inaccurate. We will strive to ensure timeliness and accuracy by relying on credible sources such as concerned, qualified authorities and our staff reporters.