20 killed in Pakistan vegetable market blast
A bomb which exploded in a market in Pakistan on Saturday left 20 people dead and wounded at least 50 others, officials said.
Two wounded victims died during treatment, raising the death toll to 20, said Dr Sabir Hussain at the main hospital in Parachinar, the capital of Pakistan's Kurram tribal region.
Initially, seven people were killed in the blast at the vegetable market and more than 60 wounded. But 11 of the critically wounded died earlier while being treated.
Dr Hussain said several of the wounded were in serious condition and being transferred to other hospitals for better care.
Shahid Khan, an assistant tribal administrator, said the explosion took place when the market was crowded with retailers buying fruits and vegetables from a wholesale shop. He said the attack was being investigated.
Lashker-e-Jhangvi, a banned sectarian militant group that has attacked minority Shiites Muslims in the past, claimed responsibility for the attack. The bombing took place in a predominantly Shiite area of Kurram, which has been attacked in the past by Sunni militants who have hideouts there. Shiites are a minority in Pakistan.
Mr Khan said some of the wounded would be airlifted to hospitals in Peshawar, the capital of northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Hospitals in tribal regions and rural areas of Pakistan typically are not equipped to handle such emergencies.
Kurram has been the scene of increased militant activities in recent years. The Army carried out a massive operation against extremists there but they still have the capacity to strike.
Shiite leader Faqir Hussain said all the bodies were brought to a Shiite mosque.
Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, the provincial governor, told local Geo television that the remnants of militant groups targeted by security forces were trying to show their existence by such attacks.
"Terrorists largely eliminated by our security forces and the remaining will soon meet their fate if we all together rise against them," he said.