Peshawar: Angry residents of a northwestern Pakistani city that was rocked by a Taliban bombing protested on Saturday with the bodies of those killed in the attack, slamming the security lapse and demanding action against the perpetrators of the assault.
The Pakistani Taliban on Friday targeted a Shiite imambargah in Parachinar, Kurram Agency, with a powerful car bomb, killing at least 24 people and injuring more than 100 others at a crowded market.
Parachinar residents protested with the bodies of those killed and demanded immediate action against those involved in the attack.
All shopping centres, markets, bazaars, government and private institutions were closed as part of a protest against the bombing.
The Tori and Bangash tribes later called off their protest after negotiations with the administration. The talks which continued for more tan two hours were also attended by representatives of security forces and religious scholars, Geo News reported.
The tribesmen asked the administration how the explosives-laden car entered the agency despite tough security arrangements and presence of a number of security check posts.
Later, the protesters moved the bodies of the blast victims to the central imambargah for offering funeral prayers following which they were buried in their hometowns.
The local tribes have announced three days of mourning in Parachinar.
Medical superintendent at the agency headquarters hospital said he received 135 injured people of whom 37 were airlifted to Peshawar and 40 were being treated in Parachinar.
Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a breakaway faction of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the attack.
Kurram Agency is considered one of the most sensitive tribal regions as it borders three Afghan provinces and was once the main route for cross-border militant activity.
The blast was the latest in a series of attacks targeting the Shiite community in Pakistan.
Pakistan, a country of nearly 200 million, has lately been rattled by a number of deadly terrorist and sectarian attacks.
Last month, more than 125 people were killed and another 300 injured in a series of suicide attacks across the country, including the one in Lahore and another on the popular Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine in Sindh.
Pakistani security forces retaliated with a crackdown, killing dozens of terrorists and destroying militant hideouts along the border with Afghanistan.
Pakistan army has launched operation ‘Radd-ul-Fasaad’ (elimination of discord) to defeat terrorists and consolidate the gains of its counter-terrorism operations across the country.