PESHAWAR: A faction of the Pakistan Taliban claimed responsibility on Wednesday for a bomb attack in Orakzai that killed 14 people, a spokesman for the group said.
The roadside bomb exploded next to a passenger vehicle in the Sipaye area of the Orakzai tribal region, killing more than a dozen people in a sectarian attack targeting the Shia community.
“We targeted them because they were Shia, and they are enemies of Islam,” Mohammed Afridi, spokesman for the Darra Adam Khel faction of the Pakistan Taliban told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location.
“This appears to be part of a series of attacks by militants against one particular sect,” said Khushal Khan, a senior government official in Orakzai.
“It was a remote-controlled bomb planted on the road. The bomb exploded near a pick-up van carrying passengers,” senior administration official Zakir Hussain told AFP of the incident in Sepoy village.
Eight people were killed on the spot and six died in a state-run hospital in the nearby city of Kohat, Hussain said.
The dead included three women, two 11-year-old boys and a three-year-old girl, he said. All the victims were part of the same clan or same extended family.
“It was a militant attack, the aim was to create panic in the area by killing ordinary people,” Hussain said.
Doctor Mohammad Naeem of Kohat District Hospital confirmed the toll and said that an 11-year-old boy with serious injuries was transferred to Peshawar for specialist care.
Orakzai is one of seven districts in the tribal belt on the Afghan border that is home to Taliban and al Qaeda strongholds.