At least 45 people were killed and over 150 injured, with fears of casualties rising after two subsequent explosions hit a densely populated area of Kurram Agency’s Parachinar city Friday evening.
The death toll was confirmed by hospital sources, who warned that the number of casualties may rise.
Local official Nasrullah Khan told AFP that the first blast detonated as the market was crowded with shoppers preparing for the Eid ul-Fitr festival marking the end of Ramzan.
“When people rushed to the site to rescue the wounded, a second blast took place,” he said, adding that he could not give further details of the attack but that officials fear the toll will increase.
Parachinar was the location of the first major militant attack in Pakistan in 2017, a bomb in a market which killed 24 people in January and was claimed by the Pakistani Taliban.
In March a second Taliban attack killed a further 22 people.
Soon after the blasts security personnel rushed to the site and cordoned off the area. The injured were rushed to the hospital.
The military’s media wing ISPR said two helicopters rushed to Parachinar and airlifted 15 critically injured to Peshawar.
ISPR Director-General Maj-Gen Asif Ghafoor tweeted that “Security/surv of Pak-Afg Bdr enhanced. Stringent actions agst illegal Bdr crossers. Recent terrorist incidents linked to sanctuaries across.”
Security/surv of Pak-Afg Bdr enhanced. Stringent actions agst illegal Bdr crossers. Recent terrorist incidents linked to sanctuaries across.
— Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) June 23, 2017
While no group claimed responsibility for the twin attacks in Parachinar, two outfits said they had carried out the suicide car bomb blast in Quetta — Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a splinter group of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and, according to AFP news service, the militant Islamic State group.