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Death toll from Pakistan attacks climbs to 73

28 June 2017

The death toll is expected to rise further as local government and hospital officials in Parachinar said on June 24 that numerous victims of the attacks are in critical condition.

The Sunni extremist group, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, claimed responsibility for the attack in Parachinar located in north-western Pakistan.

The back-to-back explosions occurred as people were busy shopping for Iftar and Eid in the Turi Bazaar area, close to a crowded bus terminal in Parachinar, Kurram Agency. Early on Friday, a bomb attack took place in Quetta in Pakistan's south-west.

Emergency has been declared in the hospitals and all injured were shifted to the agency's headquarters hospital.

Dr. Zulfiqar Ali, an official at a state-run hospital, told RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal that they had received 261 victims from the twin attacks, with dozens in critical condition.

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Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called for increased security across the country as he condemned the attack, saying that no Muslim could ever imagine committing such a "horrific" act. It was claimed by both the local affiliate of the Islamic State group and by Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA), an offshoot of the Pakistani Taliban, according to the SITE monitoring group.

On March 31, a auto bomb blast near an Imambargah of Shia Muslims killed 23 people and injured 70 others in Parachinar. The blasts claimed at least 45 lives, while 75 others were also wounded.

Late on Friday, four police officers were shot dead as they broke their daily Ramadan fast at a roadside restaurant in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city and financial capital.

The blasts in Parachinar came on the final Friday of the fasting month of Ramadan, just days ahead of Eid-al-Fitr, one of Islam's holiest festivals. In January, 25 people were killed and 87 others when a bomb tore through a crowded vegetable market in the same city.

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The blast was powerful enough to be heard across the city, shattering windows in nearby buildings, said police spokesman Shahzada Farhat.

The statement read that security forces have cordoned off the area and rescue operation was in progress.

"Better ask the hospital about death toll as we are dealing with a security situation", a political administration official told Dawn when approached for comment.

It also offered condolences to the people and government of Pakistan for the attacks it said sought to upend the country's stability.

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Death toll from Pakistan attacks climbs to 73