Pak suicide bombing: Death toll rises to 39

Last Updated: Saturday, February 18, 2012 - 23:24

Islamabad: The death toll in a devastating suicide bombing outside a Shia mosque in Kurram tribal region of northwest Pakistan rose to 39 on Saturday as and business hubs in the region remained closed as a protest against the attack that was claimed by the local Taliban.

Twenty-six people were killed in the attack in Parachinar town yesterday and 13 more people succumbed to their injuries in hospital, officials said today.

Over 50 people were injured in the blast and several of
them were in a critical condition.

At least three other persons were killed when police
opened fire yesterday on a group that was protesting against
the suicide attack.

Several persons were injured in the firing and a baton
charge by police, local residents said.

The dead were buried today as markets and business hubs
in Kurram Agency remained shut as a protest against the
attack.

A faction of the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan
claimed responsibility for the attack, with a commander
telling reporters in the region that the Shia community was
targeted because it was allegedly involved in activities
against the militants.

The head of the bomber was found on the roof of a house
in Kurmi Bazar of Parachinar and tribal elders said he did not
appear to be a local resident.

Hundreds of people have died in clashes between rival
Shia and Sunni tribesmen in Kurram Agency over the past four
years.

The situation in the region was exacerbated after
Taliban fighters began backing the Sunni tribesmen.
Kurram Agency is the only part of Pakistan?s restive
tribal belt bordering Afghanistan that has a sizeable Shia
population.

Allama Nawaz Irfani, the cleric of the Jamia Masjid in
Parachinar, has called for three days of mourning to protest
the attack.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, February 18, 2012 - 12:13

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