PESHAWAR: At least 15 people were killed and 30 others injured as a powerful blast rocked Tal Adda area of Parachinar in Kurram Agency on Sunday.
The explosion occurred at the Eidgah market in Parachinar, the capital of Kurr.
Eyewitnesses said they saw at least 11 bodies being taken towards an imambaragah in the area. Locals said more fatalities are expected as dozens are critically injured.
Rescue teams have reached the scene of crime. Meanwhile, security forces have cordoned off the area and a search operation is underway.
“At least 10 have died and more than 30 were injured,” said a senior police official who requested anonymity. ”A bomb disposal squad has reached the spot and are trying to ascertain the nature of the the blast,” he added.
Further, Amjad Ali Khan, the political administrator of the Kurram district, confirmed the incident and the toll.
The bodies and the injured were shifted to the Agency Headquarters Hospital in Parachinar, where eight out of the 11 dead were identified as Nazar Hussain, Hashmat Hussain, Muhib Hussain, Syed Shaheen Shah, Johar Hussain, Arif Hussain, Ashiq Hussain and Shaukat Ali.
A doctor at the hospital told AFP most of the injured were in “critical condition” and said the death toll could increase.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but the region is known for sectarian clashes. Pakistan has been battling a home-grown insurgency since 2004 that has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of civilians and security forces personnel.
Overall levels of violence have decreased this year following a nationwide military-led offensive Zarb-e-Azb against extremists across the country, blocking their sources of movement, communication and funding.
There has also been a crackdown on extremist groups that target religious minorities. In July, Malik Ishaq, the leader of an anti-minority group behind some of the worst sectarian atrocities in Pakistan, was killed in a shoot-out with police, along with 13 other extremists.
This is a developing story and will be updated accordingly.