Taliban faction claims attack that killed 13 in Quetta

At least 25 persons were killed and over 100 others injured as twin blasts ripped through a market on Friday in Pakistan’s northwest tribal area of Kurram Agency, Geo News reported.The blasts were in a market and within three minutes of each other, senior government official Wazir Khan Wazir said.”When people rushed to the site to rescue the wounded, a second blast took place”, he said.He said the death toll was expected to rise as some of the wounded were listed in critical condition.Pakistan has seen a dramatic improvement in security in the last two years, but groups such as the umbrella Pakistani Taliban and other extremist outfits still retain the ability to carry out attacks.Prime minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the attacks, saying terrorists were attacking soft targets.Pakistani police officers examine the site of an explosion in Quetta, Pakistan, Friday, June 23, 2017.The region has been battered by bitter sectarian violence in which Sunni militant groups have targeted Pakistan’s minority Shiite Muslims in the area.An official from Baluchistan’s bomb disposal unit said the auto had contained up to 95 kg of explosives.Another 21 people were wounded, according to Waseem Baig, a spokesman for Quetta’s Civil Hospital.Footage of the incident showed two vehicles badly damaged in the explosion, while debris lay scattered on the street.Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a faction of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the attack in Quetta in a message sent to the media by spokesperson Asad Mansur.Earlier in the day, a suicide auto bomber in southwestern Pakistan struck near the office of the provincial police chief resulting in the killing of at least 11 people and leaving 20 wounded, according to an AP report.Pakistan has been battling Islamist and nationalist insurgencies in Balochistan since 2004, with hundreds of soldiers and militants killed in the fighting.