Powerful explosions kill 53 people, injure 197 in northwestern Pakistan

People gather at a mosque targeted by a bomber in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on June 21, 2013.

People gather at a mosque targeted by a bomber in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on June 21, 2013.
Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:34PM GMT

LAST UPDATE

The first blast was shortly followed by another explosion at a Shia mosque. Reports say the second blast came after a bomber rammed his motorbike into the main gate of the mosque as crowds of people were praying inside.”

Two powerful explosions have claimed the lives of at least 53 people in the Shia-dominated town of Parachinar in Pakistan’s tribal region of Kurram, leaving 197 others injured.

The blasts took place in two separate locations in Parachinar, the capital of Kurram Agency, on Friday evening

In the first incident, a bomb planted on a motorbike went off in the city’s main market near the Afghan border.

The first blast was shortly followed by another explosion at a Shia mosque. Reports say the second blast came after a bomber rammed his motorbike into the main gate of the mosque as crowds of people were praying inside.

Pro-Taliban and al-Qaeda-linked militants, who are reportedly behind the killings, have imposed an economic blockade against the Shia-dominated population areas across the volatile northwest. The frequent incidents have raised concerns among human rights groups, while moderate Pakistani Sunni groups have described the issue as a conspiracy against the country.

Taliban leaders, who were toppled in the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan, took refuge in tribal regions of Pakistan and rapidly began to extend their influence from tribes to major towns and cities.

The pro-Taliban anti-Shia groups have launched a violent campaign against the Shia Muslims, and are stretching the campaign toward the restive southwestern Pakistan as well.

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Quetta, the capital of Pakistan’s restive southwestern Balochistan province has witnessed several instances of violence directed against the Hazara Shia community in recent months.

Several Shia religious gatherings have also been targeted in central province of Punjab over the past some months.

Shia Muslims in Pakistan say the government must take decisive action against the forces involved in the targeted killings. They also accuse Islamabad of failing to provide security for the Muslim community.

The country’s Shia leaders have called on the government to form a judicial commission to investigate the bloodshed.

Shias make up about a third of Pakistan’s population of over 180 million.

JR/SS  PRESS TV

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Categories: Bible Prophecy, Breaking News, World News

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