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70 killed in suicide attacks in Pakistan

70 KILLED IN SUICIDE ATTACKS IN PAKISTAN

The death toll from a spate of bombings on Friday in Quetta and Parachinar cities increased to 70 on Saturday after 12 more victims succumbed to their wounds at hospitals, according to a health official.

Most people were killed in suspected twin suicide blasts in Parachinar city, the capital of northwestern Kurram Agency. The first explosion in the city's busy Turi market had taken place when residents were shopping for the upcoming Eid festival; a second blast at the same spot shortly after targeted those participating in the rescue operation.

Medical Superintendent Parachinar hospital Dr. Sabir Husain told Anadolu Agency that over 200 injured had been shifted to Peshawar and Parachinar hospitals on Friday following the blasts; 12 critically injured succumbed overnight, pushing the death toll to 57 while 190 others continue to receive treatment at hospitals.

"Around 10 injured are still in critical condition" Husain added.

Kuram Agency Political Agent Baseer Khan Wazir also told Anadolu Agency that dozens remain under treatment at various hospitals.

Also, on Friday, a suspected suicide car bomber had targeted a police checkpoint outside the police chief's office in the southwestern Balochistan province's capital city Quetta, killing at least 13 people and injuring 14 others.

Daesh-linked banned groups Lashkar-e-Jahangvi Al-Alami had claimed responsibility for the bombings in Quetta and Parachinar.

In a statement, Pakistani army spokesman Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor had blamed the attacks on alleged terrorists based in Afghanistan.

Balochistan has witnessed dozens of terrorist attacks in recent months, including security personnel and civilians coming under attack in roadside explosions and assassinations.

The mineral-rich southwestern province is a strategically important area of Pakistan. It is a gateway for the multi-billion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, considered to be of major significance for the region. The project aims to connect China's Xinjiang province with Pakistan's Gawadar port in Balochistan.

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