At Least 53 Killed In Twin Pakistan Bombings

By RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal

Last updated (GMT/UTC): 27.07.2013 10:19

PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- Officials in northwest Pakistan have told RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal that the death toll from twin bombings has risen to at least 53, with more than 180 people injured.

The synchronized blasts took place on July 26 near a busy nighttime bazaar in Parachinar, the main town of the Kurram tribal district on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

Locals reported that one blast took place when a bomb was set off, apparently by remote control, directly in front of a mosque.

The second followed one minute later, when a suicide attacker drove his motorbike into a taxi stand.

Both explosions occurred as the area was crowded with people flocking to the market to buy food for their evening meals after a day of fasting during the holy month of Ramadan.

Health officials say all the hospitals in Parachinar are providing emergency treatment to wounded blast survivors.

The militant group Ansar ul-Mujahideen told RFE/RL it claimed responsibility for the attacks, which targeted minority Shi'ite Muslims.

Kurram is the site of rising violence between Shi'as and majority Sunni Muslims.

The blasts are one of the most deadly attacks to have taken place during Ramadan.

A local Shi'a organization, Anjuman-e-Hussainia, has declared three days of mourning for the dead.

"The Parachinar bazaar will be closed for one day, while mourning will be observed for three days," says spokesman Ali Wazir. "It was a tragic incident. People were just buying ice cubes when these [terrorists] attacked them. Many children were killed, young people were killed, and elders were killed. It was cruel act."

Wazir blamed government authorities for failing to provide security in Pakistan's restive tribal districts.

With reporting by AFP, AP, and Reuters