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Death toll from suicide blast in NW Pakistan rises to 36

(Xinhua)

13:40, February 19, 2012

ISLAMABAD, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- The death toll of a suicide blast that took place in Pakistan's northwest city of Parachinar on Friday afternoon has risen to 36, reported local media on Saturday.

Local Urdu TV channel Geo quoted official sources as saying that six more people injured in the blast that hit a mosque near a market in the city died at different hospitals on Saturday, bringing to 36 the total number of the people killed in the disaster.

Meanwhile, the blast has also injured 48 others in total and some of them are still in critical condition, said the official sources.

TTP Islahi, a new faction of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which is formed by a militant commander Fazal Saeed Haqqani who has recently quit TTP, has claimed responsibility for the Parachinar attack, according to Geo report.

The report quoted the commander as saying that the Shia community was the target as it was allegedly taking sides and backing the government and armed forces in the ongoing military operation against them in Kurram Agency.

Pakistani Prime Minister Gilani has issued a statement strongly condemning the attack.

On Friday afternoon, a suicide bomber rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into a mosque in Parachinar, a main city in Pakistan's northwest tribal area of Kurram Agency bordering Afghanistan, in which a large number of Shia Muslims were offering Friday prayers, killing many people right on the spot.

The attack came at a time when the three presidents of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran were holding a two-day trilateral summit at which they vowed work together to root out the terrorism, extremism and militancy in the region.

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