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Death toll from Pakistan attacks rises to 57

Peshawar, Pakistan | AFP | The death toll from multiple attacks in Pakistan rose to 57, officials said Saturday, a day after the bomb and gun assaults in three cities shook the country as it prepared to mark the end of Ramadan, Islam’s holiest month.

Officials in Quetta said the number of dead had risen by one to 14 after a blast in the southwestern city which targeted police. Ten policemen were among those killed.

The attack was claimed by both the local affiliate of the Islamic State group and by Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA), an offshoot of the Pakistani Taliban, according to the SITE monitoring group, though there was no immediate explanation for the dual claims.

Later Friday twin blasts in the northwestern city of Parachinar then ripped through crowds in a market before sunset. Officials confirmed Saturday that the attack had killed 39 people and injured more than 200.

Parachinar is the capital of Kurram, one of Pakistan’s seven semi-autonomous tribal districts, which has a history of sectarian clashes between Sunnis and Shiites.

Officials in Kurram said dozens of people were still undergoing treatment in hospital.

“A total of 216 people were injured in the twin blasts. Some 106 are still under treatment in a local hospital,” Nasrullah Khan, an administration official in Kurram told AFP.

“62 other seriously wounded people have been shifted to Peshawar,” he added.

Basir Khan Wazir, the top government official in Parachinar, later told AFP that both blasts were carried out by suicide bombers.

A spokesman from a Sunni militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Al-Alami sent a message to AFP on Saturday claiming responsibility for the Parachinar attack.

The group is believed to be linked to sectarian outfit Lashkar-e-Janghvi (LeJ), responsible for many attacks across Pakistan.

Also on Friday, gunmen riding motorcycles shot dead four policemen, spraying bullets at them while they were eating dinner at a roadside restaurant in the port megacity of Karachi.

Pakistan has seen a dramatic improvement in security in the last two years, but groups such as the umbrella Pakistani Taliban, LeJ and other extremist outfits still retain the ability to carry out attacks.

Parachinar was the location of the first major militant attack in Pakistan in 2017, a bomb in a market which killed 24 people and was claimed by the Pakistani Taliban.

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