12 Shias killed in NW Pakistan bombingAgence France-Presse . Peshawar
A car bomb targeting security forces in a market area in northwest Pakistan on Monday killed 12 civilians, all minority Shia Muslims, and wounded more than 40, officials said.
An explosives-laden vehicle exploded near a convoy of security forces in a market in Parachinar town of Kurram tribal district, senior administration official Sahibzada Mohammad Anis said.
‘The death toll has gone up to 12 as one more died in hospital,’ he said. There are more than 40 wounded, 20 of them are in serious condition, he said.
Kurram is one of seven districts in Pakistan’s tribal belt on the Afghan border that is home to Taliban and al-Qaeda strongholds.
‘The car detonated as a security convoy passed by in the Turi Market’ of the town dominated by the minority Shia Muslim community, Anis said.
‘Those killed were all members of the Shiite community,’ a security official said. It was not immediately clear if it was a suicide attack, Anis said, adding that an investigation was underway.
Two intelligence officials confirmed the casualties. The target seemed to have been security forces’ convoy, one intelligence official said.
The blast destroyed 30 shops and damaged 50 others in the busy commercial area, Anis said, adding that the site was littered with rubble and twisted metal.
Nobody immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but Taliban militants have been carrying out similar bombings and suicide attacks in the province neighbouring Afghanistan. The town has also seen sectarian violence between majority Sunni and Shiite sects.
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