Kurram market bomb kills 15
11 September, 2012
PESHAWAR: A deadly suicide attack in a crowded market in Kurram tribal region on Monday left 15 dead and more than 40 wounded, local officials said.
A senior administration official said 10 people were killed in the suicide attack that targeted Hamid Market in Kashmir Chowk, Parachinar, while locals said the death toll stood at 15 and more than 50 were injured.
"The market was crowded when the attack took place and initial reports say some 10 people are dead," an official in Parachinar said on condition of anonymity.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. However, Taliban have acknowledged involvement in such attacks targeting Shias in the past. Parachinar is predominantly inhabited by Shias as sectarian conflict has displaced many Sunnis from the headquarters of Kurram tribal district.
"The bomber rammed his explosives-laden vehicle into a wall of the market and seconds later there were dead bodies and destruction all over the place," said a local journalist working for a private TV channel.
It was not clear if it was a remote-controlled blast or the bomber himself detonated the explosives, he said. Around 30 shops were also destroyed in the market where used electronic goods were sold, the journalist said. "All the dead were civilians," he added.
Security forces were seen patrolling the streets after the attack and the city looked in a curfew-like situation as people had closed shops and roads were deserted.
Sectarian violence involving Sunnis and Shias, who account for around 20 percent of the 167 million population, has killed more than 4,000 people since the late 1990s.
Attacks blamed on militants have killed more than 5,200 people in Pakistan since government troops raided a mosque in the capital five years ago, according to an AFP tally.
The latest blast came a week after a suicide car bomber rammed a US consulate vehicle in Peshawar last Monday, killing at least two people. Up to 19 people were wounded when the bomber struck during morning rush hour near the office of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and residential quarters used by the US consulate in Peshawar.