In multiple attacks in Pakistan’s three major cities on Friday — the last of the Holy month of Ramzan — at least 62 people were killed and 100 others injured, reported news agency PTI. In the first attack, a suicide bomber blew up his explosives-laden car in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, killing 13, including seven policemen, and injuring 21 others. The blast were claimed by both the local affiliate of the Islamic State terror group and a splinter group of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA).
Hours after the attack, twin explosions went off in Pakistan’s northwestern town of Parachinar bordering Afghanistan. The first explosion was triggered at Turri Market in Parachinar headquarters of Kurram Agency, when people were busy shopping for Iftar and Eid. The second blast took place as rescuers and bystanders rushed to aid those who had been hurt in the first explosion. At least 45 people, mostly Shias, were killed in the explosions and over 75 injured.
A senior government official Wazir Khan Wazir told Reuters that the blasts took place at a market within three minutes of each another. The emergency and rescue services shifted injured to Agency Headquarters hospital Parachinar. The security forces cordon off the entire area and started search operation. Pakistan Army contingents and FC personnel reached the site of the attack to aid in rescue efforts.
Later on Friday evening, two armed men on a motorcycled opened fire on security personnel in Karachi, killing four — an assistant sub-inspector was among those killed.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the terrorist attacks, saying that those responsible will be taken to task. He added that efforts will be taken to eliminate terrorism.
In a statement, the Pakistan Army said: “Two Army aviation helicopters have taken off from Peshawar to Parachinar for the speedy evacuation of the injured to Peshawar. Rescue operation in progress.”
Addressing the media, DIG Quetta Abdul Razzaq Cheema said the CCTV footage was being examined to understand the details of the incident. Civil Defence Director Aslam Tareen claimed, after an intial probe, that 75 kilogrammes of explosives were used in the Quetta blast. According to other officials, body parts of the suspected bomber, strewn across the site, were collected for forensic examination, reported PTI.
President Mamnoon Hussain, Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Governor Balochistan Muhammad Khan Achakzai and former president Asif Ali Zardari, were among those who condemned the attacks.
(With inputs from agencies)