A powerful car bomb, today exploded, near a minority Shiite Muslim place of worship, imambargah, at a busy market, in the northwest town of Parachinar, Pakistan.
At least 22 people were killed and over 95 others were injured in the bomb blast, report say.
The condition of the majority of those injured was stated to be critical. Of those critically wounded, 27 were airlifted to Peshawar hospitals. Many vehicles were also damaged in the blast.
The blast highlights the Pakistani Taliban’s continuous ability to carry out attacks, despite a major military offensive against its headquarters.
An offshoot of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, claimed responsibility for the attack.
Security forces sealed off the area while emergency services were dispatched to the site. All the hospitals, were even declared an emergency by the administration.
An Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement said, that an Army medical evacuation helicopter has also been flown to Parachinar for evacuation of the injured.
The explosion was so powerful, that it also damaged vehicles and nearby shops, according to Government Administrator Zahid Hussain.
Parachinar is a key town in the Kurram tribal region bordering Afghanistan. The region was once a center for the Pakistani Taliban and Sunni militant groups.
Although the army says it has cleared the Kurram region of militants, violence has continued there.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed grief over the blast and censured the attack. “It is our responsibility to continue the war against terrorists,” he said.
Sharif repeatedly said, that the Government will put its maximum efforts to eliminate the terrorism risk from the country.
The Prime Minister directed the concerned authorities to extend all possible assistance to the local administration.
Further, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar ordered an inquiry into the blast.
A line of suicide attacks occurred across Pakistan last month, including one in Lahore and another on the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine in Sindh, which killed more than 125 people and wounded over 300 others.
The Pakistani army also launched a nationwide military operation, “Radd-ul-Fasaad” to eliminate terrorists and integrate gains of its counter-terrorism operations.