JNN 31 Mar 2017 PESHAWAR: A blast outside a Jama Masjid O Imambargah at Shendak bazaar in Parachinar city of Kurram Agency killed at least 22 people and injured over 100 others on Friday. A Shia Muslim Majority area on the Afghan border.
The explosion in the remote area bordering Afghanistan came as people gathered for Friday prayers near the women’s entrance of a Shia mosque.
A witness said security personnel at the Jama Masjid O Imambargah were checking devotees when an unidentified person parked a car packed with explosives and left near the women’s entrance of the mosque as people gathered for Friday prayers, next to the building, which then exploded.
A faction of the Pakistani Taliban (TTP), Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA), had claimed the responsibility of the attack.
Many shops and vehicles close to the mosque were damaged in the powerful blast.
An army medical evacuation helicopter was also flown to Parachinar for evacuation of the injured, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.
After the terrorist assault, security forces cordoned off the area. An emergency was declared at the District Headquarters Hospital Parachinar and nearby hospitals.
“We have received 22 bodies and 57 injured, including women and children,” said a surgeon at the DHQ.
Another doctor Mumtaz Hussain said more than three dozen wounded had been brought to the hospital and an appeal had been issued for blood donors.
“Patients are being brought to us in private cars and ambulances and we have received over three dozen patients so far,” Hussain said.
Syed Shabir Hussain Sajidi, an elder of Shia community, when contacted said that almost all rescue activities were carried out by local people, complaining that officials of the civil administration and personnel of law enforcement agencies reached the blast site too late.
Syed Mohammad Konain, another elder and office-bearer of Anjuman Hussainia, said more casualties were feared and some of the injured were still in critical condition.
Witnesses said hundreds of people were present in Noor market when the explosion took place.
The explosion was so powerful that it damaged several shops and wrecked many vehicles
It was followed by protests in Parachinar as angry crowds accused the security forces of failing to protect them.
Turi tribesmen, local Shias, staged a protest demonstration, but they were dispersed through use of teargas shells and batons by security officials.
A tribal elder alleged that three protesters were killed when personnel of law enforcement agencies opened fire on unarmed ,peaceful protesters. He said security personnel used force against civilians who were staging a peaceful protest just to denounce the failure of the government in protecting lives and properties of civilians.
The Dead Bodies of the Martyred were then Brought to the Office of the Political Agent for the funeral Prayers , where a Sit in was also staged for the approval of the Demands of the Local Residents, the Protesting family Members , friends , and the Mourners
In January, at least 21 people were killed when an explosion hit a vegetable market in Parachinar, capital of the Kurram tribal region. That attack was claimed by the TTP and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Al Alami.
Nationally, Pakistan has seen an upsurge in violence since the change in the Command of the Top Brass of the Army, as there seems to be a visible shift in the Policy of the Government, as there seems to be a Lenient stance towards the Proscribed Banned Organizations, which were earlier seen in hiding or on the Run, But Now they seems to be bit relaxed, and at ease. Last month, more than 80 people were killed in an attack at a Sufi shrine in Sindh province. The so-called Islamic State militant group said it carried out that attack.
Jafria Alliance Pakistan’s President Senator Dr. Allama Abbas Kumaili with its team leaders called for an Urgent Press Conference in Karachi , to Deeply condemn the Cowardly Act of the Terrorists to Kill Innocent Civilians in Parachinar Car Bomb Blast , and also Highlighted the issues as Why Shia Population of Parachinar are again and again subjected to such Terrorist Activities , as they are the Most Patriotic Sons of the Soils , and who are even capable of Defending themselves and at the same time defending the Pakistani Geographical Borders , but they are being Unarmed and being made sitting Ducks for the Terrorists. He added as targeting this area is a conspiracy of the Enemies of Pakistan and Islam , who want to fuel sectarianism in Pakistan , as they are the same Wahabi Terrorists , who have been defeated and thrown out of Syrian and Iraqi Soil.
He also criticized Governments decision to Push Gen ( Retd ) Raheel Shariff to accept the offer of Commanding the 34 Nation Millitary Alliance Led by Saudi Arabia , as it is a Unnatural Purely sectarian Alliance , otherwise Countries Like Iran , Iraq , Syria & Yemen should also be added in this Alliance to Make it an Islamic Military Alliance, or else it would only add fuel to the Sectarianism fire across the World .
Parachinar is the capital of the Kurram, one of Pakistan’s seven tribal districts.
Kurram is the only Shia Muslim region in a predominantly Tribal Region. While the other Tribal Districts were the Sanctuaries of the Extremist Wahabi hardliners, currently operating through different Taliban factions including the Islamic State group, These groups have sanctuaries in Afghan and Pakistani areas surrounding Kurram, and have launched frequent attacks against civilians in Parachinar. While there have been several Army Operations even in the Past against these Terrorist Sanctuaries , while the Latest of these Was Operation “ Zarb e Azb ” ,which was quite successfully carried out by the Pakistani Armed Forces , but with the Passage of time , it seems that there need another sweeping action , to cleanse the check the Pilferage of these terrorists .
Locals blame the military for security failures and allege its policy of tolerating some Extremist groups has given extremists a new lease of life. They also point to the illegal border trade in the region, which creates openings for terrorists to infiltrate.