At least 25 people were killed and 30 others injured when a powerful bomb blast ripped through a busy market outside a religious seminary in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Friday, officials said. The explosive material was planted in the Friday Market (Juma Bazar) in the Aurakzai tribal district’s Kalaya area.
At least 17 people were killed while more than 30 others injured, Geo news quoted district administration officials as saying. The blast occurred outside the door of a religious seminary, it said.
“We are trying to ascertain the nature of the blast” in Kalaya, a town in Orakzai agency, senior local official Khalid Iqbal told AFP. A second official confirmed the toll.
Orakzai is one of seven restive semi-autonomous tribal regions on the Afghan border, an area that has long been a focal point in the global war on terror.
The blast occurred in the same time when three suicide bombers attacked the Chinese consulate in Karachi. Three terrorists and two policemen were killed in the attack.
Three suspected suicide bombers were killed before they were able to enter the facility as forces successfully foiled the attack, Karachi Police Chief Amir Shaikh said. Nine hand grenades, Kalashnikov bullets, magazines and explosives were recovered from the possession of the terrorists, Geo news quoted police officials as saying. “Food supplies and medicines were also recovered from their possession,” officials said.
“We have received two dead bodies of policemen and an injured Chinese security guard who is under treatment,” said Seemi Jamali, the executive director at Jinnah Hospital.
The Bilawal House of Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is also in the area. Schools and eateries have been locked down until a clearance operation is concluded. Residents said they first heard firing and explosions around 9.30 AM (local time). “The terrorists first attacked the checkpost outside the consulate and detonated a hand grenade in the area,” Shaikh said. Shaikh said the attackers had parked their vehicle at some distance from the consulate before moving towards it.
Condemning the attack, the Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement that read, “India strongly condemns terrorist attack on Chinese Consulate in Karachi. We condole loss of lives in this dastardly attack.There can be no justification whatsoever for any act of terrorism. The perpetrators of this heinous attack should be brought to justice expeditiously.”