PESHAWAR/QUETTA: Multiple blasts killed more than three dozen people and wounded around 120 others in two cities on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramazan. At least 25 people were killed and more 100 injured in twin explosions in a busy market in Parachinar area of Kurram Agency. According to reports coming from the area, the first blast, a low intensity explosion, took place at Turi Market near Tall Adda around 5:30 pm when a large number of people were busy in routine shopping before leaving back for their villages. As was the case in many terrorist attacks in the past, the first blast was used as a decoy to lure more people to the site. Later, a much bigger explosion occurred in the same market only meters away from the site of the first blast. The explosion is said to be so huge that it was heard as far as 12 kilometers away. “When people rushed to the site… to rescue the wounded, a second blast took place,” local official Nasrullah Khan said, adding that he could not give further details of the attack but that officials fear the toll will increase. Security forces present in the area reached the site and initiated the rescue operation. Sajid Hussain Turi, Member of the National Assembly (MNA) from Parachinar, informed Daily Times that at least 25 persons were reported dead in the blasts and more than 100 injured. “This is the initial figure. We fear the casualties will increase as many of the injured are in critical condition,” he added. Turi said at least 40 critically injured persons were airlifted to Peshawar in the army choppers. “The hospital here has no space for more persons. We are arranging ambulances to shift the remaining injured persons to Peshawar for further treatment,” he said. One of the victims was identified as the brother of Zulfiqar Ali, a Peshawar-based reporter of Daily Dawn. An eye witness, Husnain, told Daily Times that the market was overcrowded with people busy in shopping for upcoming Eid at the time of the blasts. “There are still many people missing. It’s complete devastation here … no one knows where to go,” he added. No terrorist group has so far claimed the responsibility for the blast. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has instructed the hospitals in Peshawar to provide quick medical assistance to the injured persons that were brought to the city. The twin blasts in Parachinar followed a bombing earlier in the day in Quetta, capital of Balochistan province, that killed at least 13 people. Investigators said the attack targeted police. It was claimed by both the local affiliate of the Islamic State group and by Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA), an offshoot of the Pakistani Taliban, according to the SITE monitoring group. There was no immediate explanation for the dual claims. Islamic State Khorasan Province, the Middle Eastern group’s affiliate in Afghanistan and Pakistan, has been known to work with the myriad of Pakistani militant groups in previous attacks, including with JuA. Officials at the city’s Civil Hospital said at least 13 people were killed and around 20 injured, mostly by shrapnel. Police officials said nine policemen were among the dead. Director General of Civil Defence Aslam Tareen said 75 kilogrammes of explosives were used in the suicide attack. However, Anwarul Haq Kakar, spokesman for the provincial government, said the bomb was planted in a moving car. Published in Daily Times, June 24th, 2017.