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Blasts in Pakistan Kill Dozens, Wound More Than 100

  • RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal

Pakistani officials say three blasts in two major cities killed at least 35 people and wounded more than 100 on June 23 -- the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan.

Authorities say a suicide car bomber killed at least 13 people -- including at least five police officers -- and wounded 20 people in an attack near the provincial police chief's office in the southwestern city of Quetta, the capital of the Balochistan Province.

There were competing claims of responsibility for the Quetta attack from a Pakistani Taliban breakaway faction calling itself Jamat-ul-Ahrar and the Islamic State (IS) extremist group.

IS militants claimed that one of its followers with a suicide belt targeted the police post. IS also released a photograph of the alleged attacker, identifying him as Abu Othman al-Khorasani.

Hours after the Quetta attack, twin bombings that were minutes apart killed at least 27 people and wounded more than 80 at a crowded market in the northwestern Shi'a-dominated city of Parachinar.

Government administrator Zahid Hussain said most of the victims were from Pakistan's Shi'ite minority.

Parachinar is the main city in Pakistan's Kummar tribal region, located along Afghanistan's border.

Officials said the first explosion at Parachinar's Tori market occurred as people were buying food for iftar, the evening meal when Muslims break the fast during the holy month of Ramadan.

The second blast occurred minutes later as rescuers were trying to aid those wounded by the first explosion.

Mohammad Amir, an official at a government-run hospital in Parachinar, said more than 20 of the wounded victims were listed in critical condition.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the Parachinar attacks, but Sunni militant groups have claimed responsibility for numerous similar attacks against Pakistan's Shi'ite minority in the past.

With reporting by AP, Reuters, AFP, and Dawn
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