Parachinar blast leaves 24 dead

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Women, children among over hundred injured; Compensation for families of martyred, wounded

Tariq Saeed

Peshawar

Terror on Friday revisited the violence hit Kurram Agency where a deadly explosion near an Imambargah located at a busy market in the agency headquarters Parachinar left two dozen people dead and over hundred seriously wounded. A number of adjacent buildings as well as 15 shops and many vehicles were also destroyed in the blast.
Dead included female and children. There are reports of injuries to many after the protesting residents of Parachinar clashed with the FC following the explosion.
The death toll is feared to go higher as the condition of many injured at Parachinar and Peshawar hospitals was stated to be as precarious. A splinter group of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Jamaat ul Ahrar has reportedly owned the responsibility of the filthy act.
It may be recalled that a deadly suicide explosion in a busy vegetable market in Parachinar on January 21 had left 21 people dead and scores others seriously wounded.
Reports reaching here said the explosive material planted in a car parked near the gate of women Imam Bargah in a busy Noor market was detonated at 11 in the morning that played havoc in the area causing major damages to the buildings and shops. The security forces and the rescue teams rushed to the site that was cordoned off to facilitate the rescue operation as the victims were shifted to various hospitals in the Parachinar city.
According to the ISPR army teams facilitated the rescue activities and besides ambulances and private vehicles Army helicopters were also used to evacuate the victims while critically wounded people were airlifted to Peshawar hospitals for treatment. The medics at various hospitals pronounced 22 people including two women and equal number of children dead while the number of those undergoing treatment at the hospitals in Parachinar and Peshawar said to be around hundred.
Some security officials apprehend the explosion might have been caused by a projectile as the remains of a mortar shell were found from the sight of the blast. “The intensity of the blast can be gauged from the huge damage caused to the houses and cars parked in the vicinity”. The Kurram Agency Political Agent Ikram Ullah told newsmen it was not a suicide attack as the explosive material was installed in a car parked in the area.
While number of wounded person were air lifted to CMH Peshawar, red alert was also issued to the three major hospitals of the provincial metropolis, the lady Reading Hospital, Khyber Teaching hospital and Hayatabad Medical Complex where emergency was declared and off duty doctors and paramedics were called in.
The Government has announced a compensation of Rs500,000 each for the families of deceased people, while Rs100,000 each will be given to the injured person.
President Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Iqbal Zafar Jhagra and Chief minister Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak have strongly condemned the Parachinar blast.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has expressed deep grief and sorrow over the loss of lives in Parachinar blast and prayed for the early recovery of injured people. He also sympathized with the bereaved families.
In his statement, the Prime Minister strongly condemned the blast and said that the government was determined to weed out terrorism and extremism from the country.
In the meanwhile the residents of Parachinar staged a protest demonstration in front of political agent office against bomb explosion that claimed precious lives.
The protesters put the dead bodies of the blast victims in front of the political agent office and demanding sacking of the political agent. The FC had to fire in the air to disperse the demonstrators with unconfirmed reports saying many injured in clash with FC personnel. Allama Fida Mazhari, Khateeb Parachinar Jamia Masjid claimed that the FC opened firing at the protesters, in which three persons were killed and nine other injured. He condemned firing on the protesters.
However, the commandant Kurram Militia Col Omar Malik, rejected reports about casualties in FC firing and said that the security forces only fired into the air to disperse the protesters who were getting unruly.

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