90 injured, many in critical condition; Gen Bajwa says terrorists will fail to
regain lost relevance; Funeral prayers held, bodies handed over to relatives;
KP govt assures full support to victims
Twenty-five people were killed and more than 90 wounded seriously when a powerful explosion ripped through a congested market in Parachinar, the headquarters of the Kurram agency Saturday morning. The doctors at various hospitals of the province, where the victims were shifted, feared the death toll might rise as the condition of many injured was critical.
Deadly explosion caused by an explosive material planted in a crate of apple played havoc in the Fruit and Vegetable market in the morning when the business was at full swing.
According to reports reaching here, a large number of sellers and buyers were busy in the new Sabzi Mandi near Eidgah market when a huge explosion rocked the area around 8.50 in the morning. Panic gripped the area as scores of people were seen lying in pool of blood with many crying for help. Political authorities of Parachinar said the explosive was detonated with the help of the remote controller. Another official said the explosion took place when the market was crowded with retailers buying fruits and vegetables.
The law enforcers including the Quick Response Forces (QRFs) of the Army and the FC immediately rushed to the site of the blast and cordoned off the area to facilitate the rescue operation as the victims were shifted to DHQ hospital and later to Kohat. Army helicopters were also used to evacuate the victims and later over two dozen critically wounded persons were airlifted to CMH Kohat and Peshawar for treatment.
While initially 10 people were pronounced dead, the death toll rose to 25 till the filing of this report as many more succumbed to their injuries in many hospitals. According to various hospitals around ninety injured were brought for the treatment with the independent sources saying 55 to 60 people sustained serious injuries in the blast.
Some reports said, 12 dead bodies were shifted to Imam Bargah while six dead bodies have been shifted to a nearby mosque.
According to an ISPR statement, Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa directed for quick evacuation, best medical care to the victims of Parachinar blast. Army personnel and Frontier Corps’ Quick Reaction Force reached the blast site within no time.
Meanwhile, Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa reaffirmed his resolve to curb the terrorism at all cost and said that terrorists will fail in their attempt to regain lost relevance.
In the meanwhile the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government assured the victims all possible support will be made available to them.
The spokesman of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, Mushtaq Ghani, said the Zarb-e-Azb Operation has broken the back of terrorists. MPA Shaukat Yousafzai said all possible facilities will be made available to the wounded.
Director Health Services of FATA has declared emergency at hospital in Kurram Agency and leaves of all health staff have been cancelled and they have been ordered to report for duty. Additional human resources, medicines and ambulances from nearby health facilities were shifted to Kurram Agency to ensure supplies of services to the affectees.
Purpose built emergency kits, obtained from ICRC, have also been sent to Parachinar while teams have been constituted to visit and look after the needs of injured referred to Peshawar hospitals.
The funeral prayers of 20 victims were held on Saturday afternoon. Inspector General of Frontier Corps Major General Shaheen Mazhar Mehmood, Brig Amir Muhammad Khan, Commandant Tall Bridge, Member National Assembly Sajid Tori, Political Agency Kurram and people from different walks of life, and relatives of the deceased attended the funeral prayers. Soon after the prayers, bodies were handed over to the relatives and heirs for burial.
Meanwhile, a shutter-down strike was observed in the Parachinar city to condemn the act of terrorism.
In a text message sent to journalists, the proscribed Lashkar-i-Jhangvi al-Aalami claimed that it, along with Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan splinter Shehryar Mehsud group carried out the attack. However, the Shehryar Mehsud group did not independently claim the bombing.