PESHAWAR: A car bomb targeting security forces in a market area in Parachinar on Monday killed 14 civilians, all Shia Muslims, and wounded more than 80, officials said.
An explosives-laden vehicle exploded near a convoy of security forces in the Turi market in Parachinar town of Kurram tribal district, senior administration official Sahibzada Mohammad Anis told AFP.
A suicide bomber drove his explosive-laden vehicle into Kashimir Square around 2:40pm and detonated it in the middle of the market, political agent Shahab Ali Shah said.
Kurram is one of seven districts in Pakistan's tribal belt on the Afghan border that is home to Taliban and al Qaeda strongholds.
"The car detonated as a security convoy passed by in the Turi Market" of the town dominated by the minority Shia community, Anis said.
"Those killed were all members of the Shia community," a security official said.
Two intelligence officials confirmed the casualties. The target seemed to have been security forces' convoy, one intelligence official said.
The blast destroyed 30 shops and damaged 50 others in the busy commercial area, Anis said, adding that the site was littered with rubble and twisted metal.
“Mortar shells and rockets were used as explosives in the bomb,” a witness said.
Nobody immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but Taliban militants have been carrying out similar bombings and suicide attacks in the province neighbouring Afghanistan. The town has also seen sectarian violence between majority Sunni and Shia sects.
Two people were killed in March this year when a remote-controlled bomb ripped through a bus jointly hired by three Shia families to travel from Peshawar to Parachinar, in suspected sectarian violence.
Earlier in February gunmen disguised in military uniform hauled 18 Shia men off their buses and shot them dead in northern Kohistan region.
Sectarian violence involving Sunni and Shia Muslims, who account for around 20 percent of the 167 million population, has killed more than 4,000 people since the late 1990s.
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