Pakistan blast, 20 people killed, 50 injured

Pakistan, at least 21 people were killed and 54 others injured in a powerful blast in northwest tribal region Kurram Agency today. Officials said in Peshawar that the blast took place at a crowded vegetable market inside Eidgah Bazaar in Parachinar, near the Afghan border. The injured have been shifted to hospital.

Security personnel have cordoned off the entire area and started search operation. According to officials, the death toll is expected to rise as the market was crowded due to early morning rush. Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif have expressed their deep grief over loss of lives in the deadly blast.

Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan spokesman Umer Khurasani has claimed responsibility for the blast. He said, the blast was in retaliation for killing Lashkar-e-Jhangvi chief Chotu, along with three others in an encounter. Kurram is one of the most sensitive tribal areas as it borders three Afghan provinces and at one point was one of the key routes for militant movement across the border.

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