Shia in Pakistan's restive northwest protested Monday (Jun 26) as the death toll from twin blasts three days earlier rose to 69, marking a grisly Eid for the town worst hit by militancy so far in 2017.
Shahid Khan, a government official in Parachinar, confirmed the toll on Saturday, saying residents, who had been preparing to celebrate the end of Ramzan, were now in mourning.
The Sunni extremist group Lashkar-e Jhangvi claimed responsibility for the blasts at a crowded market in the northwestern town of Parachinar, a predominantly Shi'ite town in the Kurram Tribal Agency.
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Shahid Khan, a local official in Parachinar, said Saturday that numerous victims of the attacks are in critical condition.
A suicide bomber yesterday blew up his explosives-laden vehicle near Inspector General of Police Ehsan Mehboob's office in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, killing at least 13 people, including seven policemen, and wounding 21 others. Senior police officers apparently were the target, with at least seven officers among the dead. Two different militant groups - a breakaway Taliban faction and the Islamic State - claimed the Quetta attack. Gunmen in the port city of Karachi attacked police officers at a roadside restaurant and killed four of them before fleeing, according to senior police officer Asif Ahmed. But intelligence officials said one of the men has been identified as a wanted militant commander linked to the IS group.
The US today strongly condemned the multiple blasts and firing in three Pakistani cities that killed over 60 people and injured almost 100 others. Ghafoor also said that Afghan soil was used to launch the attacks. As with the Islamic State, the same old militant faces are emerging under new names.
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