Death toll of bomb blast that hit a fruit and vegetable market in northwest Pakistan on Saturday morning has risen to 25, local media reported.
Local Urdu TV channel Dawn News, quoting official sources, said that the death toll rose to 25 after five of the critically injured succumbed to their injuries during treatment at the hospitals.
The report said over 50 others were also injured and several of them are still in critical condition.
The blast hit the fruit and vegetable market at 08:50 a.m. (local time) in Parachinar area of Kurram Agency, the country’s northwest tribal region bordering Afghanistan.
According to Major General Asif Ghafoor, Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the mouthpiece of Pakistani army, the blast took place by an improvised explosive device (IED) that was planted inside one of the fruit boxes carrying apples brought to the market, and it was detonated with a remote-controlled device.
Ghafoor said at the time of the blast a large number of people from Parachinar and adjoining villages were shopping in the market.
Outlawed terrorist organization Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack through an e-mail to local media.
Contradicting the officials’ statement, the TTP spokesman, Muhammad Khorasani claimed that one of their members carried out the suicide attack in the marketplace.
The TTP spokesman said that the attack was revenge of the killing of chief of their ally banned militant organization Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, who was killed along with three aids in an encounter with police in the country’s east Punjab province earlier this week.
All the injured people were initially shifted to Agency Headquarters Hospital Parachinar from where the seriously wounded victims were airlifted to hospitals in neighboring Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, via army helicopters.
Two vehicles and several shops were also destroyed in the blast.
Commercial activities halted in the area following the explosion as local people closed all the markets in Parachinar and announced to observe a mourning day on Sunday.
The country’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the incident and directed hospital administration to provide best possible medical treatment to the injured people.
Chief of Pakistan Army, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, condemned the terrorist attack and said terrorists will fail in their attempt to regain lost relevance. Enditem