Islamabad: The death toll in a suicide car bomb attack targeting Shias in the restive Kurram tribal region of northwest Pakistan has risen to 14 even as a faction of the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack.
All the 14 people killed in the attack were Shias, officials of the political administration of Kurram Agency told the media.
Over 75 people were injured when the suicide bomber detonated his explosives-laden vehicle yesterday in Turi Market, the bazar in Parachinar, the main town of the region.
The hitherto unheard of Ghazi Group of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack through a spokesman who called reporters in northwest Pakistan by phone from an undisclosed location.
This was the first time that the Ghazi Group has claimed responsibility for an attack.
The spokesman, Ahsan, who has never spoken to the media in the past, claimed the attack was aimed at the Shia community.
Most of those killed and injured were shopkeepers or customers. Some 30 shops were destroyed while over 100 more were damaged.
Several of the injured are in a critical condition, officials said.
Officials of the bomb disposal squad said about 50 kg of explosives were used in the attack.
After the blast, angry residents of Parachinar blocked the Peshawar Road in protest.
They shouted slogans against the government for its failure to stop terrorist attacks and to protection the people.
Turi and Bangash tribal elders condemned the bombing and announced three days of mourning in Kurram Agency.
They decided to keep all markets closed today to protest against the political administration`s failure to check vehicles arriving in Parachinar from other places.
In February, a similar bombing had killed 45 people in Parachinar.