PESHAWAR: At least 24 people were killed and nearly 70 others were injured in a blast in Parachinar, capital city of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), ARY News reported on Saturday.
A number of the injured victims of the blast were said to be in critical condition and were shifted for treatment to District Headquarters Hospital.
Corps Commander Peshawar inquired about the health of the injured at the Combined Military Hospital.
Video footage from the site showed chaotic scenes with people running and shouting in panic and victims strewn in front of vegetables shops among smashed crates and pushcarts.
Victims could be heard screaming and crying while ambulances arrived at the site with sirens blaring.
Director General Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor earlier confirmed that at least six people have been killed and 20 people were wounded in the explosion. He stated that the landmine blast took place at 08.50 pm. He further stated that Pakistan Army helicopters are shifting the wounded persons to a hospital for treatment.
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif expressed deep grief over the loss of precious lives in the deadly blast. He directed urgent medical assistance for the injured and expressed condolences for the departed souls.
Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa directed for quick evacuation and best medical care to victims of Parachinar blast. He said that terrorists will fail in their attempt to regain lost relevance.
Ikramullah Khan, a senior government official in Parachinar, told AFP that the blast was caused by an IED (improvised explosive device) hidden in a vegetable box.
In a telephone call to AFP, the Hakimullah Mehsud faction of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), claimed responsibility for the attack.
“It was to avenge the killing of our associates by security forces and to teach a lesson to Shiites for their support for Bashar al-Assad,” said the group’s spokesman, Qari Saifullah, referring to the Syrian president.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the incident and condoled with families who lost their loved ones in the incident.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has condemned the incident and asked for its report.
Chief Minister of Punjab Shahbaz Sharif expressed grief over the explosion and said that terrorists will not succeed to lower the national spirit against terrorism.
Chief Minister of Balochistan Sanaullah Zehri condemned the incident and said that terrorists are targeting innocent people.
Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Zafar Iqbal Jhagra also condemned the blast, which took 20 lives, and said that all injured are being given proper medical attention.
Chairman of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, condemning the Parachinar explosion, said they stand with the families who lost their loved ones.
Chief Minister of Sindh Murad Ali Shah also denounced the terrorist attack in Parachinar.
Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan strongly condemned blast in Parachinar and called for the strengthening of intelligence and security for public places.
Strongly condemn blast in Parachinar targeting innocent civilians. Intel & security for public places must be strengthened.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) January 21, 2017
Former president Asif Ali Zardari condemned the terrorist attack and said that the nurseries of terrorists have to be destroyed.
Emir Jamaat-e-Islami Siraj-ul-Haq prayed condemned the incident and prayed for the recovery of the injured.