Death toll from Pakistan attacks climbs to 73

Death toll from Pakistan attacks climbs to 73”

Bombs killed at least 40 people in Pakistan on Friday, with a suicide vehicle bomber killing 13 in the southwestern city of Quetta, and two blasts later claiming at least 27 lives in the northwestern town of Parachinar, officials said.

Security forces raided a militant hideout in the northwestern city of Peshawar before dawn Saturday, triggering a shootout in which three Pakistani Tailban were killed, senior police official Sajjad Khan said.

At least 45 people have been killed and 75 others injured in Parachinar, an official from the Parachinar administration told PTI.

More than 20 of the injured were in critical condition.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Friday's attack.

The Daesh Takfiri terrorists and Jamaat ur Ahrar, a splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed the attack in Quetta in messages sent to the media.

Separately, gunmen on motorcycles Friday shot dead four policemen sitting at a roadside restaurant at SITE area in southern port-city Karachi.

Wasim Baig, a spokesman for the Civil Hospital in Quetta, said 19 people were also wounded in the attack. Officials said the blasts on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramazan targeted people shopping in the area and those heading out of the city ahead of Eid. Separatist rebels are battling government forces while Taliban and other militant Islamist groups also operate there.

Pakistan Army contingents and FC personnel reached the site of the attack to aid in rescue efforts. He said two police officers were wounded in the gunbattle. "Rescue operation in progress".

Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, a military spokesman, linked the attacks to alleged militant sanctuaries in neighboring Afghanistan and promised greater border security.

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a sectarian Sunni extremist group, claimed the twin bombings at a crowded market in Parachinar, a Shiite-dominated town.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called for security to be beefed up across the country as he condemned the attack, saying that no Muslim could ever imagine committing such a "horrific" act. "I got injured and fell down", said one victim, Gulzar Ahmad. Kakar blamed India for the Quetta blast.

TV footage showed several badly damaged cars and a road littered with broken glass.

In Baluchistan, provincial government spokesman Anwar ul Haq Kakar said the Quetta auto bomb went off near the office of the inspector general (IG) of police.

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