LeJ Al-Alami claims responsibility
PARACHINAR: At least 25 people were killed and 70 others sustained injuries in a bomb explosion triggered by a remote-controlled device in a second-hand clothes market here on Sunday, official sources said.
The sources said the people were busy buying used winter clothes when the blast took place. Buyers and shopkeepers, mostly poor people, were caught in the blast that devastated the area and caused death and destruction. The sources said the explosive device had been planted near the busy Eidgah Market located close to the Thall bus stand in Parachinar, headquarters of Kurram Agency.
Officials said that 25 persons were killed while more than 70 were wounded. The injured were taken to the Agency Headquarters Hospital in Parachinar, where the doctors initially said that 15 of them were in critical condition. An emergency was declared at the hospital, which due to its inadequate facilities was overwhelmed by the rush of patients.
The Army Aviation deployed two helicopters to fly 23 patients to Peshawar for treatment at the Lady Reading Hospital, where emergency had been declared beforehand. The security forces and personnel of the paramilitary Frontier Corps reached the spot after the blast and took control of the mostly Shia-populated Parachinar city.
Some of the dead were identified as Rasheed Ali, Hussain, Qaiser Ali, Nauman Hussain, Syed Asghar, Mukhtiar Ali, Rasheed Ali, Said Shah, Hashmat Ali, Nazar Ali, Baqir Ali, Arif Hussain, Johar Ali, Shabbir Hussain and Mohib Ali.
Political Agent Kurram Agency Amjad Ali Khan visited the hospital to inquire after the injured persons. He directed the hospital administration to provide the best possible treatment to the wounded. The political agent confirmed the death toll and said the blast was caused by an improvised explosive device (IED). An official of the Bomb Disposal Squad said 30 to 35 kilograms of explosives were used in the timed device bomb.
Sources said two suspects were arrested in Parachinar soon after the explosion and were shifted to an undisclosed location for interrogation.
Meanwhile, the sectarian militant group, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Al-Alami claimed responsibility for the bomb blast. In an email and text messages sent on mobile phone to journalists, its spokesman Ali Abu Sufyan said the attack was launched to take revenge against those supporting the attacks by Iran and Bashar al-Asad against Syrian Muslims. He warned of more attacks against parents if they don’t stop sending their children to fight in the Syrian war.
Parachinar, located close to the Afghanistan border, has suffered terrorist attacks in the past as well. The Shia community elders announced three days of mourning over the incident and termed it a bid to sabotage peace in the region. They demanded the government bring the culprits to justice.
Meanwhile, KP Governor Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan condemned the blast and expressed deep shock and sorrow over the loss of precious lives in the tragedy.
A handout said on the directives of the governor, all the critically injured people were transferred to Peshawar via helicopter and shifted to hospitals. An emergency was also declared in hospitals.
The governor directed the political administration to expedite the rescue efforts and relief activities and provide best medical treatment to the injured.
He announced a compensation package for the injured and the families of the slain persons and directed the political administration to make immediate payments. He directed that all victims should be provided the compensation amount within two days.
The governor assured that innocent people would not be left at the mercy of terrorists. Terming the terrorist attack as cowardly, the governor said such attacks could not deter the national resolve to eliminate militancy and terrorism.
Agencies add: President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the Parachinar blast, saying that such attacks cannot deter the resolve of the government and operation against terrorism will continue till its logical end.
In their separate messages, they expressed grief over the loss of life and property and commiserated with the bereaved families. The prime minister directed to provide special medical care to the injured.
They said the fight against terrorism is an irreversible process until terrorism is rooted out from the country.
Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Deputy Speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi and patron-in-chief of the Supreme Shia Ulema Board and Quaid of the Tehreek Nafaz Fiqh-e-Jafariya Agha Syed Hamid Ali Shah Moosavi, also condemned the Parachinar blast.
They termed it a barbaric and shameful act of terrorism. They said the elements involved in such activities were the enemies of humanity and the country.