26 killed, 40 injured in suicide attack near Pak Shia mosque

A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a Shia mosque in Pakistan's restive northwestern Kurram tribal region today, killing 26 people and injuring over 40 others.

The attacker, who was on a motorcycle, detonated his explosive vest outside the mosque in the crowded Kurmi Bazar at Parachinar, the main town of Kurram tribal region, which has been rocked by sectarian violence over the past few years.
Officials told the media that 26 people were killed and over 40 injured. They described the condition of some of the injured as critical.

An emergency was declared at the hospital.A faction of the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack, with a commander telling reporters in the region that the Shia community was targeted because it was allegedly involved in activities against the militants.

The officials said they feared the casualties could rise as the bomber had struck at a time when the market was full of people.

The bomber blew himself up shortly before the weekly Friday prayers.Earlier reports had said that a car bomb had gone off at the market.

Witnesses said several shops and vehicles were destroyed by the blast.Most of the casualties were civilians, they said.

The injured were taken to hospital by local residents in private vehicles.

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