Fri Mar 31, 2017 | 2:26am EDT
Blast in northwest Pakistan kills at least five, wounds 40
An explosion hit the Pakistani city of Parachinar, in the remote northwestern tribal region, on Friday, killing at least five people and wounding 40, Ikramullah Khan, the local political agent, said.
Earlier this year, at least 21 people were killed when an explosion hit a vegetable market in Parachinar, near the border with Afghanistan.
(Reporting by Raza Hassan, Saad Sayeed; editing by James Mackenzie and Nick Macfie)
Explosion in Parachinar market, 5 killed
Ali Akbar and Hassan Farhan
31.03.2017 Updated about a minute ago
A blast at a market in Parachinar killed at least five people and wounded 40 others, a local official said on Friday.
Ikramullah Khan, the local political agent, confirmed the death toll of the blast that took place this morning in the crowded Noor market. The market place is a busy area and has several shops. It is also near one of the main imambargahs.
Security forces have cordoned off the area while emergency services have been dispatched to the site. The political administration has declared emergency at all hospitals in the area.
Initial reports suggested that at least 10 people have been injured in the explosion.
The attack is reminiscent of a bombing at a market place early this year, which resulted in the death over at least 25 people.
The January attack was claimed by Lashkar-i-Jhangvi al-Alami along with Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) splinter Shehryar Mehsud.
The army had launched Operation Raddul Fasaad last month following a spate of terror attacks in the country, which claimed more than a hundred lives and left hundreds others injured. The operation seeks to eliminate the "residual/latent threat of terrorism", consolidating the gains made in other military operations, and further ensuring the security of Pakistan’s borders.
Hundreds of suspected terrorists have reportedly either been killed or arrested in raids carried out by security personnel since the start of the operation.
Parachinar is 250 kilometres west of Peshawar and has a population of 50,000. In the wake of sectarian clashes in 2007 army and paramilitary forces set up several checkpoints on roads leading to the town.
Kurram, the tribal region of which Parachinar is the main town, the only part of Pakistan’s border region that has a significant Shia population, has been racked by sectarian violence.
This is a developing story that is being updated as the situation evolves