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25 killed in suicide bomb attack in market in northwest Pakistan

The blast occurred at around the same time that three attackers tried to storm the Chinese consulate in the southern city of Karachi.

world Updated: Nov 23, 2018 16:34 IST
Pakistan blast,Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,Death toll
The blast took place in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.(REUTERS/ Representative image)

A suicide bomb attack on a crowded festival and market in northwest Pakistan’s northwest killed at least 35 people on Friday and wounded 20, police said.

The blast occurred at around the same time that three attackers tried to storm the Chinese consulate in Karachi. Two policemen and the three attackers were killed. The Karachi attack was claimed by a separatist insurgent group called the Balochistan Liberation Army, and did not appear to be connected to the attack on the market in the northwestern region of Orakzai.

In Orakzai, a suicide bomber drove a motorcycle into a crowd attending a festival and market that attracts people from different religious communities, before detonating his explosives. No group claimed responsibility.

Read: 3 suicide bombers attacked Chinese consulate in Karachi, killed

“It was a suicide blast at the festival that takes place every Friday,” said Abbas Khan, the assistant commissioner of the district, told Reuters.

Khan said that among the 25 dead were three members of the minority Sikh community and two security officials.

The Geo television channel showed footage of military officials cordoning off the bomb site.

Orakzai was formerly a semi-autonomous part of Pakistan’s ethnic Pashtun tribal area along the Afghan border.

The region was for decades a refuge for Islamist militants fighting in Afghanistan, and more recently against the Pakistani state.

The Pakistani military stepped up operations along the border in 2009 and has managed to clear some areas of militants.

The tribal areas were incorporated into the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in May.

First Published: Nov 23, 2018 12:41 IST