14 killed in Taliban attack in Pakistan's tribal belt

10 killed in Kurram Agency passenger van blast

Kurram Agency is one of seven tribal regions in Pakistan and Parachinar has been struck by major bomb attacks targeting Shias in recent months.

Five women and four children were among the 15 killed, while nine people were wounded in the explosion.

The improvised explosive device (IED) blast targeted the van in Kontara village in central Kurram Agency.

The outlawed militant group, Jamaatul Ahrar, which is a breakaway faction of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), claimed responsibility for the attack. A statement from the Inter- Services Public Relations reported that it sent a plane and a helicopter to the area to take the wounded to hospitals.

Hospital officials said that the dead included an infant.




Local security sources said the ill-fated vehicle was on its way from Godar to Sadda. "Two women were also killed", doctor Mujahid Khan, a senior health official in the district told AFP.

For more than a decade, Pakistan has been fighting religious and sectarian militants who have killed tens of thousands of people.

Two census workers were in the minibus, according to local media reports.

Prime minister Nawaz Sharif and interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan condemned the tragic blast and instructed authorities to provide best medical facilities to the injured. In March, a bomb blast at a mosque killed more than 20 people in the Shia-majority town.

In January, at least 21 people were killed in the same region when an explosion hit a vegetable market in Parachinar, located near the border with Afghanistan.

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