World News

Death toll in Pakistan attacks climbs to 56

Death toll in Pakistan attacks climbs to 56

Early on Saturday, Pakistani security forces stormed a terrorist hideout in the northwestern city of Peshawar, and shot dead two suspected IS militants.

Wasim Beg, a spokesman at a government hospital, said the death toll from the bombing had risen to 12 throughout the morning and some of the wounded remained in critical condition.

Twin blasts tore through a market crowded with Eid shoppers in a mainly Shia town, a suicide bomber blew up his explosives-laden vehicle and militants opened fire on police in separate attacks in Pakistan's three major cities, killing 47 people and wounding 121 others.

Shahid Khan, a local official in Parachinar, said Saturday that numerous victims of the attacks are in critical condition.

Pakistan army used its helicopters to airlift the critically wounded people to the hospitals in Peshawar, the country's northwest provincial capital.

A hospital official said they had received 261 victims, with 62 in a critical condition.

Another bombing in the southwestern city of Quetta killed 13 people and a drive-by shooting killed four police officers in the southern megacity of Karachi on Friday.

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

An assistant sub-inspector was among those killed in the attack, said Superintendent of Police Asif Ahmad.

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LeJ's Al Alami faction said in a statement it was targeting minority Shi'ite Muslims and threatened more attacks over Pakistanis fighting against Sunni militants in Syria's civil war.

"We fear that the death toll will increase", Khan said, adding that no further details were available yet. But intelligence officials said one of the men has been identified as a wanted militant commander linked to IS.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the attacks, saying terrorists were attacking soft targets.

At least 30 people have been killed and 100 others injured in Parachinar, Dawn news reported.

The third major attack to rock Parachinar this year, the blasts struck hours before iftar, when the streets are often crowded with people shopping for food to break their fast with the evening Ramadan meal. In December 2015, the same market was targeted by a suicide bomber, killing 22.

TV footage showed several badly damaged cars and a road littered with broken glass.

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a sectarian Sunni extremist group, claimed to be behind the double attack. It also released a photograph of the alleged attacker, identified as Abu Othman al-Khorasani.

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.


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