Sectarian attack: Suicide blast kills 31 in Parachinar

Published: February 18, 2012

Fazal Saeed, leader of breakaway faction of TTP claims responsibility for attack, says attack targeted Shia community. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

PARACHINAR: 

An uneasy peace in an area beset by violent sectarianism was short-lived. Parachinar bleeds again.

At least 31 people were killed and 36 others were injured when a suicide bomber attacked a crowded market in Kurram Agency on Friday, in the deadliest attack for a month, officials said.

The bomb exploded near an imambargah as the main Friday prayers took place in Parachinar, the headquarters of Kurram Agency.

But that was not the extent of the tragedy.

According to locals, two people were killed when security forces shot at protesters from the Shia community after the bombing.

A splinter group that broke away from the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that the “Toori (Shia) tribe were involved in activities against us”.

The blast casts a shadow over the fate of a fragile peace deal, which was concluded recently in the restive agency, plagued by sectarian violence.

Officials said that the blast took place in the busy Khar Bazaar, also known as Kurma Bazaar, when the young suicide bomber rushed towards the crowd and detonated the explosives strapped to his body.

“The target of the bomber was the Imambargah; however, he did not succeed in attacking that,” Sajid Hussain Toori, a lawmaker from the region, told The Express Tribune.

The blast took place at around 1:45 pm in the market, which is one of the busiest spots in Parachinar.

Eyewitnesses described the attacker as a young man in his mid-twenties. They further said that it was a powerful blast and was heard in far off areas.

Around 20 people were killed on the spot, while six others succumbed to injuries at the hospital. Independent sources put the number of injured at over 60.

Locals said that security forces, who rushed to the scene soon after the blast, opened fire to control the angry crowd, resulting in the death of two people and injuries to 28 others.

However, MNA Sajid Hussain said that four people were killed in the incident and added that “everyone has their own way of protesting”.

A senior administration official told The Express Tribune avoided commenting on deaths caused by firing from the security forces, but conceded that at least seven people were injured in the baton charge and firing to control the protestors.

Meanwhile, speaking from an undisclosed location, Leader of Tehreek-e-Taliban Islami Fazal Saeed Haqqani told AFP by telephone that, “We had warned the political administration previously not to side with Tooris.”

A 12-year-old unidentified child was also killed in the blast.

Anjuman-e-Hussania Parachinar has announced three days of mourning, while also asking people to remain peaceful.

Sajid Hussain Toori, one of the key people behind the peace deal in Kurram, said that the people of the region were peaceful, and added that they would do their best to maintain the peace treaty.

Friday’s blast was the deadliest attack in the country since a remote-controlled bomb blast killed at least 35 people in Khyber Agency on January 10.

(Read: Acts of terror)

With additional input from Agencies

Published in The Express Tribune, February 18th, 2012.

Reader Comments (20)

  • shadi
    Feb 18, 2012 - 5:41AM

    see that mr imran khan? THAT IS THE BIGGEST PROBLEM OF PAKISTAN. Much more problamatic than corruption.

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  • Feb 18, 2012 - 5:43AM

    My heart goes out to all the families who lost their loved ones.
    Just think about the parents of that 12-year-old child who got killed in the blast.. i think the worst thing in the world would be to lose a child.. :(

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  • Feb 18, 2012 - 6:16AM

    As long as the dogmatic Pak army continues to betray Pakistani citizens like the minority Turi tribe by giving refuge to ‘preferred militants’ like the Haqqani network and other like minded foreign and local Taliban/Wahhabi/Salafi/Deoband/Sunni extremists, for their ideological regional hegemony and sabotage, promoted through radicalization and violence, there can never be such a thing as a ‘peace deal’.

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  • Sunny
    Feb 18, 2012 - 9:11AM

    Saudi-American gift to Ahmedinejad’s upon his arrival into Pakistan.

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  • zabdesk
    Feb 18, 2012 - 10:11AM

    Thats in continuation of my earlier comments on Difa e Pakistan rally in Karachi. This is the meaning of Difae Pakistan by the groups included in the Difae Pakistan Council. And I am sure that the Difae Pakistan will never condemn this blast.

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  • mind control
    Feb 18, 2012 - 10:20AM
  • Basit
    Feb 18, 2012 - 10:33AM

    @bigsaf:
    Incorrect information Tooris are being supported by establishment for a long time now. Everyone knows this. Please read up on the situation.

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  • abdul
    Feb 18, 2012 - 10:48AM

    @Shadi
    What is Imran Khan’s fault in this attack? He has always condemned such incidents.He condemned the killings of Hazara shia in Balochistan.But you can not hide your hatred against Imran Khan.Now ask your leader Mr.Zardari to stop these attacks because, after all, it is his govt’s responsibility to provide the safety to the people of Pakistan.

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  • maya
    Feb 18, 2012 - 12:40PM

    “First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out– because I was not a communist; Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out– because I was not a socialist; Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not… speak out– because I was not a trade unionist; Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out– because I was not a Jew; Then they came for me– and there was no one left to speak out for me.” is just one of many variations of a poem attributed to Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power and the purging of their chosen targets, group after group.!!

    Time for intellectuals to react and act.
    Why the human rights organisations, media personnel and government silent over the issue?

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  • Feb 18, 2012 - 12:49PM

    @Basit: Establishment backs everyone and anyone when need be, by the way
    where is Defa e Pakistan today or that is just Defa e Establishment of Pakistan only!

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  • Feb 18, 2012 - 1:01PM

    i have already previously that no one accept Fazale Saeed will broke this historical accord of Shia-Sunni in kurram agency which enable people to breath for a little while.

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  • Qasim
    Feb 18, 2012 - 1:01PM

    @Sunny:
    We do not need others; we are our own’s biggest enemy. It was perfectly timed to attack the goodwill, if any, created by Ahmedinejad’s visit. The attackers are neither Muslims nor human.

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  • SaQiB
    Feb 18, 2012 - 1:13PM

    @bigsaf

    How about speaking for the illegal Iranian support for the shia terrorists such as sipah e muhammad and Tehreek e nifaz e fiqah e jafria???

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  • Feb 18, 2012 - 3:06PM

    @SaQiB: I come from majority Shia area, and Iranian help for Shia is a myth and propaganda spread by Shia haters. Also SeM or TNFJ are paper organisations. I do not know much about other parts of Punjab but in my area Shia are hardworking and resourceful.

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  • FJ
    Feb 18, 2012 - 3:27PM

    ET 31 people dies and the news has become on an ant size next day??? Tell us and the rest of the world what is happening in para chanar right now. FC and rangers have entered shia population area and they killed 7 more protesters and they drove tank on one of the dead bodies which was crushed into pieces. tell us tell us …this is your responsibility …please!

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  • FJ
    Feb 18, 2012 - 5:02PM

    @Ali Wali: Bhai tell us what is the situation right now in para chanar as I heard some very bad news through shianews :(

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  • Feb 18, 2012 - 6:29PM

    @FJ: Brother I come from Punjab, so I do not know anything about Parachinar situation, sorry.

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  • us_roamer
    Feb 19, 2012 - 11:57AM

    How these taliban face Allah on Roz e Qayama…. Bloodshed is never allowed in Islam…

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  • Feb 20, 2012 - 1:12AM

    @Basit:

    Tooris are being supported by establishment for a long time now. Everyone knows this. Please read up on the situation.

    That is untrue, Basit. I suggest you take up your good advice honestly as well. A link to the damning story before the ‘forced’ peace deal, which really was about access in Khurram for “Haqqani Sahib” and his network.

    Pakistan army blockades anti-Taliban tribe in Kurram

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  • Feb 22, 2012 - 9:35PM

    @SaQiB:

    How about posting a relevant comment on the current article/tragedy, condemning sectarian terrorists, illegal support from Saud or acknowledging the victims? If news exists of ‘supposed Shia terrorists’ blowing up 30+ folks due to sect/ideological barbarism, I will. But it doesn’t happen, does it? Analysis leads there. Not to a hyped Iran/Shia insurgency, fantasized by disingenuous apologistsRecommend

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