Pakistan auto bomb kills 11 at police checkpoint

Elias Hubbard
June 24, 2017

Anwarul Haq Kakar, a spokesman for the provincial government, said the bomb was planted in a moving vehicle, but officers were trying to determine whether it was a suicide attack.

Authorities said 13 people were killed and 124 wounded when twin blasts tore through a market in Parachinar, capital of Kurram district, a mainly Shiite area of Pakistan's tribal belt.

Hours after the attack, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a breakaway faction of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility.

Pakistan has seen a dramatic improvement in security in the last two years, but groups such as the umbrella Pakistani Taliban and other extremist outfits still retain the ability to carry out attacks. "Our attacks will continue until a true sharia system is enforced in Pakistan", the spokesman said, referring to Islamic law.

The second explosion occurred as people rushed to rescue and assist those wounded in the first explosion.

People were at the market buying food for iftar, the meal breaking the fast in the evening during the holy month of Ramadan. Ramadan ends this weekend.

"It's possible the IG office was the target, or the assailants were trying to enter the (army) cantonment which is close by", said an official.

Security forces raided a militant hideout in the northwestern city of Peshawar before dawn Saturday, triggering a shootout in which three Pakistani Talban were killed, senior police official Sajjad Khan said.

Quetta is about 100 km (60 miles) east of the border with Afghanistan.

Baluchistan has always been the scene of a low-level insurgency by Baluch nationalists and separatists, who want a bigger share of the regional resources or outright independence, but also attacks blamed on the Pakistani Taliban and others.

That attack prompted Pakistan to boost security for Chinese nationals and other foreigners in the province, which is already one of the most militarised regions in the country. Officials said emergency had been imposed in all hospitals across Parachinar, the capital of Kurram agency.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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