At Least 22 Killed In Bomb Blast In Northwestern Pakistan

Last Updated: March 31, 2017 13:45 UTC

RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal

An explosion in a mainly Shi’ite area of Pakistan's northwestern tribal belt has killed at least 22 people and wounded dozens of others, reports say.

Government administrator Zahid Hussain said the March 31 blast was caused by a bomb that exploded near a Shi’ite mosque in the city's central market.

Nearby shops and vehicles were damaged in the powerful explosion.

A Pakistani Taliban breakaway faction, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes after a January 21 bomb explosion in Parachinar killed 24 people and wounded dozens.

Parachinar is the capital of the Kurram tribal district on the Afghan border.

The area is known for sectarian clashes between Sunnis and Shi'a, who make up around 20 percent of Pakistan's population of 200 million.

With reporting by AP and Reuters