At least 10 people were killed and 30 others were injured Sunday in a bomb blast occurred in a crowded market in the semi-autonomous Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) region in northwestern Pakistan. The death toll in the blast, which reportedly targeted a Shiite-dominated region in FATA’s largest city Parachinar, is likely to rise, according to local media reports.
“A bomb disposal squad has reached the spot and are trying to ascertain the nature of the blast,” an unnamed police official told the Pakistani Television channel Dunya News.
The injured, many of whom are critically wounded, have been taken to a nearby hospital, Pakistan’s Express Tribune reported.
So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack. However, the Taliban, which has a history of targeting Shiites and other civilians, is believed to have a significant presence in the city and the surrounding regions in the Kurram Agency.
The Pakistani military is currently carrying out a massive armed offensive against the group in the adjoining Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and North Waziristan region. In figures released Saturday, the army said that the counterinsurgency operation -- named Zarb-e-Azb -- has killed 3,400 militants over the past 18 months.