24 killed in blast in Pakistan
The death toll in Saturday's bomb blast in Pakistan's northwestern Parachinar tribal region, near the Afghan border, rose to 24, Nasarullah Khan, deputy administrator of Parachinar town told Anadolu Agency.
Four more people succumbed to their wounds at the hospital. Some 64 injured are still being treated at different hospitals, added Khan.
An IED bomb was planted under a sack of fruits in a market in Parachinar -- the only Shia-dominated tribal area in a mostly Sunni Pakistan -- and was detonated by remote control, Major General Asif Ghafoor said.
Army troops backed by helicopters were called in to join the rescue and relief operations, Ghafoor added.
The injured, many of them critically, were taken to the local hospital, where a shortage of doctors and equipment forced the administration to launch an airlift of several wounded to Peshawar using army helicopters.
Amid ongoing military operations in the tribal region, more than 4,500 suspected terrorists and over 500 troops have been killed mainly in North Waziristan and Khyber Agency areas, in clashes and land mine blasts since June 2014, according to statistics released by the Interior Ministry.
The army operation also displaced nearly a million tribesmen from North Waziristan. Around 30 percent have managed to return.
Turkey condemns attack
In a statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said: “We strongly condemn this heinous terrorist attack.”
The statement added Turkey wished “Allah’s mercy upon those who lost their lives, speedy recovery to the wounded, and convey[ed] our condolences to the brotherly Government and people of Pakistan”.