The death toll from twin suicide attacks at a busy marketplace in northwest Pakistan has risen to 51, officials said on Saturday.
The Friday attacks at the bazaar in Parachinar, the main town of Kurram tribal district on Pakistan-Afghanistan border were the deadliest to hit the country during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
“The death toll from the suicide attacks has risen to 51,” a senior administration official in Kurram, Riaz Mehsud, told AFP.
Earlier, officials had put the death toll at 41.
“The new deaths occurred overnight”, Mehsud said, adding that more than 150 people were injured in the attacks.
“We are still compiling the data about injured people as many of them had been shifted to Peshawar and Kohat.”
Sabir Hussain, head of the local hospital also confirmed the new death toll.
The explosions sent handcarts flying as shoppers bought food to open their fasts at sunset.
Parachinar administration officials said both blasts were carried out by suicide bombers, who walked into the crowded market.
“We found many body parts, including parts of the suicide bombers. There was blood and human flesh at the blasts site,” Mehsud said on Friday.
The area where the bombers struck is mainly inhabited by minority Shiite Muslims but officials said they could not immediately identify the victims.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but attacks waged by Sunni Muslim extremists against Pakistan’s Shiites, who account for 20 percent of the 180 million population, are on the rise.
Kurram is frequently the scene of sectarian violence between Pakistan’s Sunni Muslim majority and Shiite minority.
The country is battling a Taliban-led domestic insurgency that has killed thousands of civilians and security personnel since 2007.
Pakistani troops have been fighting for years against homegrown insurgents in the tribal belt, which Washington considers the main hub of Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants plotting attacks on the West and in Afghanistan.
Death toll in Pakistan twin suicide attacks rises to 51