Islamic State claims credit for Orakzai bombing


Islamic State on Saturday claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack a day earlier in northwestern Pakistan, the group’s Amaq news agency said.

It said the bomber had targeted Shi’ite Muslims in a market in Orakzai and put the death toll at 57.

The IS claim came a day after at least 33 people, including three belonging to the minority Sikh community, were killed and dozens injured when a bomb hidden in a carton of vegetables ripped through a crowded marketplace.

The explosion, which according to some reports was a suicide bombing, took place near an imambargah in the morning. The injured had been shifted to the KDA Teaching Hospital in Kohat.

“According to our initial investigation, it was an improvised explosive device (IED) hidden in a carton of vegetables,” senior local official Khalid Iqbal had told AFP. He, however, did not confirm whether it was remotely triggered.

Shahbaz Ali, a resident who was buying fruit in the market, said he had seen a boy with his face covered ride up on a motorcycle. “Suddenly a blast took place and then I was unconscious,” he added.

The weekly bazaar is quite popular and people from nearby villages come here to buy fruits and vegetables at comparatively cheaper prices.

Survivors told media persons that the powerful explosion shook the entire bazaar and the bang was heard within a radius of several kilometres. According to Bomb Disposal Squad, the IED weighed around 20 kilos.

Following the blast, condemnations from government officials and politicians had poured in. Prime Minister Imran Khan had “strongly condemned” the terrorist attack in lower Orakzai as well as the one foiled on Chinese Consulate in Karachi.