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Blasts Kill More Than Two Dozen, Injure Scores in NW Pakistan

  • Ayaz Gul

Pakistani police officers examine the site of an explosion in Quetta, Pakistan, June 23, 2017. A powerful bomb went off near the office of the provincial police chief in southwest Pakistan, causing casualties, police said.

Two back-to-back bombs went off Friday in northwestern Pakistan, killing at least 25 people and wounding more than 100 others.

The blasts occurred in a crowded market of Parachinar, the main town of the semi-autonomous Kurram tribal district near the Afghan border.

Sajid Turi, a member of parliament from the area, told the local media that a low-intensity blast occurred during afternoon rush hours, before a second powerful bomb exploded.

The lawmaker said he anticipated the death toll will increase. Hospital sources said more than 30 wounded people were brought in from the scene in "critical condition.”

The population in the area where the deadly blasts occurred is predominantly Shi’ite Muslims.

A military statement said it has dispatched two helicopters to Parachinar to evacuate injured to hospitals in Peshawar.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the deadly blasts.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the bombings and said he hopes those responsible are brought to justice, in a statement released by his spokesman.

The U.S. State Department released a statement later Friday, saying, “We offer our deepest condolences to the victims and their families. We will continue to work with the government of Pakistan and our partners across the region to combat the threat of terrorism.”

The attacks on Friday happened hours after a car bombing in southwestern city of Quetta killed at least 13 people and wounded 20 others.

Senior police officers apparently were the target. At least seven personnel were among the dead.

A splinter Pakistani Taliban faction, Jamaatul Ahrar, claimed responsibility for that attack.

Nike Ching at the U.S. State Department and Margaret Besheer at the United Nations contributed to this report.

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