TWIN bombs hit the northwestern Pakistani town of Parachinar on Friday afternoon, killing at least 50 people on the day before the end of the holy Islamic month of Ramadan.
The bombing was claimed by a Pakistan-based sectarian militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, who said in a statement that the attack was aimed specifically at minority Shi’ite Muslims, and have threatened that there would be more attacks over Pakistanis fighting Sunni militants in the Syrian civil war.
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Sabir Hussain, medical superintendent of Parachinar Hospital, said that in addition to the 50 found dead, a further 250 people were wounded, with 60 of the seriously wounded being transferred to the bigger city of Peshawar.
Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, also known as LeJ Al Amani, has previously partnered with the so-called Islamic State to carry out attacks in Pakistan. The faction said it had warned “the Shia community of Parachinar … to stop staining your hands with the blood of Sunnis in Syria”.
It added: “Otherwise in the coming days you will face such hate-fueled and deadly attacks that you will not be able to stand them.”
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. Both of those attacks were claimed by another militant group, the Jamaat ur Ahrar faction of the Pakistani Taliban.
Islamic State also claimed the Quetta attack through a messaging network. It had not commented on the Parachinar attack by Saturday afternoon.
Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa was quoted saying in a tweet posted by the chief military spokesman: “Enemy trying to mar festive mood of nation through such coward acts. Shall fail against resilience of Pakistan.”
Additional reporting by Reuters