Pakistan: 31 killed, 55 injured in powerful bomb blast in Orakzai district
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: At least 31 people were killed and 55 wounded when a bomb hidden in a carton of vegetables ripped through a crowded marketplace in Pakistan’s restive northwestern tribal region Friday, officials said.
The attack took place during the regular Friday bazaar in Kalaya, a town in a Shiite-dominated area of Orakzai tribal district, senior local official Khalid Iqbal told AFP.
“According to our initial investigation, it was an improvised explosive device hidden in a carton of vegetables,” he said.
Another senior official, Ameen Ullah, said 31 people had been killed, including 22 Shiites.
More than 50 people were wounded, with 17 of them in critical condition, he said. Tribal police 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 and was famously described by Barack Obama as “the most dangerous place in the world”.
Washington has insisted that the mountainous region provides safe havens to militants including the Afghan Taliban and Al Qaeda — an allegation that Islamabad denies.
Multiple military operations have been carried out in the area, officially known as the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and home to around five million ethnic Pashtuns.
Earlier this year Pakistan passed legislation which paves the way for the tribal areas to be merged into neighbouring Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, bringing them into the political mainstream.
The move will impose the Pakistani judicial system on a region still loosely governed by British colonial-era laws and the tribal system of honour, and which has always existed on the fringes of the state -Online