Parachinar bomb explosion


At least 23 people were killed and over 100 wounded in a car bomb explosion outside an imambargah in Parachinar – the headquarters of Kurram Agency.The explosion in the remote area bordering Afghanistan occurred as people gathered for Friday prayers near the women’s entrance of a Shia mosque.Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a splinter group of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), claimed the responsibility for the attack through a video message. Ikramullah Khan, the local political agent, confirmed the death toll of the blast that took place in the crowded Noor market. The marketplace is a busy area and has several shops. It is also near one of the main imambargahs.An army medical evacuation helicopter was also flown to Parachinar for evacuation of the injured, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.After the terrorist assault, security forces cordoned off the area. An emergency was declared at the District Headquarters Hospital Parachinar and nearby hospitals.Witnesses said hundreds of people were present in Noor market when the explosion took place.The explosion was so powerful that it damaged several shops and wrecked many vehicles.Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the attack, and said the government would keep up efforts to eliminate the menace of terrorism. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan took to twitter to condemn the blast.KP Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra strongly condemned the assault and expressed grief over the loss of lives. He directed the hospital administrations to provide best medical facilities to the victims.Soon after the explosion, Turi tribesmen, local Shias, staged a protest demonstration, but they were dispersed through use of teargas shells and batons by security officials.Earlier in January this year, a terrorist attack, claimed by Lashkar-i-Jhangvi al-Alami along with Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan splinter Shehryar Mehsud, saw at least 25 people dead.The army had launched Operation Raddul Fasaad in February following a spate of terror attacks in the country, which claimed more than a hundred lives and left hundreds others injured.Bomb blasts and suicide attacks have been targeted against all communities and there is no exception but in this and some other cases the terrorists try to convey the message as if these are sectarian driven. In fact, there is truth in the oft-repeated assertion that terrorists have no sect or religion and they are just terrorists. We know that the Government as well as our armed forces and security forces have left no stone unturned in addressing the challenge but it is understandable that hundred percent security at every inch of the country is not possible. Pakistan has employed more resources to fight terrorism than it can easily afford and has achieved marvelous success, which is quoted all over the world. However, the problem of extremism and terrorism is not simple, rather a complex one involving domestic and foreign dimensions and it would take some time to overcome the challenge. Operations Zarb-e-Azb and Raddul Fasaad have broken the back of terrorists and they are now on the run. But attacks like the one carried out in Parachinar is a testimony to the fact that terrorists still have the capacity and capability to strike at will and the agencies and authorities concerned will have to review their strategy to fully eliminate this menace from the country.


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