At least 24 people died in a bomb blast in north-western Pakistan Friday that left more than 80 wounded, a local official said.
The blast occurred at a marketplace in front of a mosque in the Parachinar area of Kurram Agency, which lies near the Afghan border.
“At least 24 people have been killed and around 84 people have been injured,” Latif Hussain from the city’s hospital told dpa.
Senator Sajjad Hussain Turi said the perpetrators used a car bomb.
Jamatul Ahrar, a splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility.
Turi, a resident of Parachinar, told dpa that the blast had taken place in front of the Imambargah, a mosque for Shiite Muslims.
He said that it was surprising that a car full of explosives had managed to dodge the tight security in the city. In January, Parachinar witnessed a similar attack that left at least 25 dead in the centre of the city.
Ghayur Hussain, a witness, told dpa that the blast damaged surrounding buildings, including several shops. The market was shut after the blast, he added.
He said that the blast took place at around 10:30 am (0530 GMT), just as many people were heading to the Imambargah for prayers.
Hussain said that a large number of people had gathered after the blast to protest against the failure of security forces. Constables tried to disperse the protesters and injured several.
Kurram is one of the seven semi-autonomous agencies of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in north-western Pakistan.
The area was once a stronghold of the Taliban. The Pakistani army launched several operations in Kurram from 2008 onwards in order to flush the militants out.