A group calling itself “Ansarul Mujahideen” has claimed credit for yesterday’s double suicide attack in Parachinar in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal agency of Kurram, and said the attack was carried out to avenge Shia involvement in the Syrian civil war. According to Reuters, 52 people were killed in the attack. Dawn puts the number killed at 57 and an additional 167 people wounded:
On Friday evening, two suicide bombers on motorcycles struck in the northwestern town of Parachinar just as people flocked to a busy marketplace to buy food for their evening meals after a day of fasting during the holy month of Ramadan.
Riaz Mahsud, the top administrator of the predominantly Shi’ite Kurram area, said the death toll, originally reported at 39, jumped to 52 after several people died from their wounds during the night. He said all the victims were Shi’ites.
A previously unknown group called Ansarul Mujahideen claimed responsibility for the attack.
“We plan more similar attacks against the Shi’ite community in Pakistan to seek revenge for the brutalities of Shi’ites against Sunni Muslims in Syria and Iraq,” Abu Baseer, who identified himself as a spokesman for the group, told Reuters by telephone.
It is highly likely that Ansarul Mujahideen is either a front for the anti-Shia Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, or the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, or a blending of several groups like others that have popped up in Pakistan in the past, such as the Fedayeen-e-Islam.
Meanwhile, in Quetta, “residents” who appear to be part of a neighborhood watch gunned down a suicide bomber before he could target a Shia mosque.
The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has claimed suicide attacks in Quetta in the past; in February the group took credit for the murder of more than 90 Pakistanis, mostly Shia, after detonating nearly one ton of “high-grade” explosives in the provincial capital. The Taliban and al Qaeda-linked group has also released videos of executions of captured Shia prisoners.
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