Blast In Pakistan’s Vegetable Market Kills 20

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Update: At least 20 people killed, over 50 others injured in powerful blast at crowded vegetable market in Kurram Tribal Agency in Pakistan.

Islamabad: At least 12 people were killed in a blast at the Sabzi Mandi (vegetable market) in Kurram Agency’s Parachinar area on Saturday morning.

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The blast ripped through the Sabzi Mandi inside Eidgah Bazaar while it was crowded with people shopping for fruits and vegetables, leaving 12 people dead and over 30 injured, sources in the political administration said.

A statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said the improvised explosive device (IED) blast took place at 08:50am.

Army personnel and Frontier Corps’s Quick Reaction Force reached the blast site and cordoned off the area. Army helicopters were also flown to the site to evacuate the injured to hospitals, the ISPR said.

The injured were shifted to agency headquarters hospital.

Kurram is one of the most sensitive tribal areas as it borders three Afghan provinces and at one point was one of the key routes for militant movement across the border. It has witnessed scores of attacks and kidnappings for ransom incidents in the past several years.

The agency is adjacent to North Waziristan where Operation Zarb-i-Azb is in progress against the Tehreek-i-Taliban and other insurgent groups. The military had also launched an offensive against militants in 2011.

Parachinar is the administrative headquarters of the agency near the Afghan border.

It is small garrison town developed by the British Army in the foothill of Spin Ghar (White Mountain) in mid-1895. The town’s total population is about 40,000 comprising people of different tribes, races and faiths.