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Toll in Pakistan-Afghan border blast rises to 57

More than 100 people also injured in Friday’s bombings in the main town of Kurram tribal area

Gulf News

Islamabad: The death toll in the twin bomb explosions in Parachinar town near the Afghan border in northwest Pakistan rose to 57 as the bereaved buried their dead on Saturday, reports said.

Well over 100 people were also injured in Friday’s bombings in the main town of Kurram tribal area and a dozen critically wounded died in hospital overnight.

Inhabitants of Parachainar, located some 250 kilometres west of Peshawar, capital of north-western Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, are mostly Shiite Muslims and the area has seen sectarian attacks in the past.

Almost all the dead and wounded in Friday’s bombings were reportedly from the majority community of the mountainous town.

The blasts occurred almost simultaneously at a time when people were buying food in the market for iftar.

The first explosion took place near a mosque where a large number of people were busy purchasing food items, followed by a second blast at a taxi stand.

The reports said around 30 of the seriously wounded people were taken to Peshawar for treatment.

The state-run radio reported on Saturday an attack on a Frontier Constabulary (FC) building in a remote area on the fringe of the North Waziristan tribal area, a hub of foreign and local militants.

Quoting official sources the radio said 18 militants were killed in retaliation by the FC. Two FC personnel were killed and 20 were injured in the clash with militants, it said.

Meanwhile, ten security personnel were killed when unknown armed assailants on Saturday attacked a coastguard post near the Pakistan-Iran border in southwestern Balochistan province, officials said.

Several members of the contingent deployed at the post were also injured in the attack in the Sansar area of the Gwadar district. The assailants escaped before the arrival of reinforcements.

Balochistan is beset by a separatist insurgency involving militant groups from the ethnic Baloch community.

Media reports said a banned insurgent outfit calling itself the Balochistan Liberation Army claimed it had carried out the attack on the post.

Gwadar is the site of a deep sea port on the Arabian Sea coastline in Balochistan province. Pakistan has handed over operational control and development of the port to a Chinese company.