At least 22 people were killed and another 40 wounded on Saturday when a bomb blast tore through a crowded market in a mainly Shiite area of Pakistan. Pakistan’s military said in a statement that the victims had been “martyred,” adding that the army was taking part in rescue operations. The attack, at a vegetable market in Parachinar on the border with Afghanistan, was claimed by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a banned sectarian militant group. The group said it had worked with the Taliban to carry out the attack. Earlier, a faction of the Pakistani Taliban had claimed responsibility in a telephone call to AFP. A spokesman for the group, known as the Hakimullah Mehsud faction of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, said the attack was meant as revenge. “It was to avenge the killing of our associates by security forces and to teach a lesson to Shiites for their support for Bashar al-Assad,” a spokesman for the group was cited as saying. The city of Parachinar has frequently been the scene of similar attacks since Pakistan began fighting against Islamic insurgents in 2004.
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