A bomb attack on a Shiite Muslim procession killed five mourners and wounded more than 80 in northwest Pakistan on Sunday as Shiites marked their holiest day Ashura.
The bomb exploded in the city of Dera Ismail Khan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where a blast claimed by the Taliban on Saturday killed eight people near a Shiite Muslim procession.
“Five people were killed and 83 injured in the bomb blast,” Shafeerulla Khan, a senior government official in regional capital Peshawar said.
Khan said preliminary investigations indicated the device was planted inside a shop but police were probing whether a suicide bomber was involved.
A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban soon claimed responsibility for the bombing and threatened more attacks.
“It was a suicide attack and we claim the responsibility for it,” said Ehsanullah Ehsan, from an undisclosed location.
He repeated his threat made on Saturday that the Taliban had dispatched more suicide bombers across the country for attacks against the minority community.
The Pakistani Taliban had also claimed a suicide attack that killed 23 people Thursday at a Shiite procession in Rawalpindi.
Nazir Khan, a police official in Dera Ismail Khan, insisted Sunday’s blast was from a bomb planted inside a shop. “It was a remote-controlled bomb and exploded as a procession reached here,” he said.
Police official Anwar Khan Akbar confirmed the death toll and said the target of the attack was the Ashura procession.
Khalid Aziz, a doctor in the city’s main hospital, told Pakistan’s private ARY TV channel that some of the injured were in critical condition.