PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - A car bomb exploded at a market in northwest Pakistan on Monday, killing at least 14 people and wounding 45, officials said.
Many people had been walking along a narrow road beside the market in the town of Parachinar in the Kurram tribal area when the bomb exploded, the officials said.
A previously unknown militant group, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan Ghazi Group, claimed responsibility for the attack and said it was aimed at members of the country’s Shi‘ite minority.
The mainstream Pakistani Taliban, which is close to al Qaeda, focuses on attacking government and Western targets in Pakistan, a strategic U.S. ally.
Hardline Sunni militant groups have in recent months stepped up attacks against Shi‘ites, who they regard as non-Muslims.
Pakistan’s military, one of the world’s biggest, has failed to break the back of militant groups despite launching several offensives against their strongholds in the northwest.
“A large number of people were present in the market when the blast took place,” said tribesman Dildar Hussain by telephone.
“Most of those killed and injured were the poor people selling vegetable and fresh fruits on their push-carts.”
He said the explosives were planted in a vehicle loaded with grapes.
Suicide bombings have eased over the last year but it’s not clear if that is due to pressure from the army or a shift in Taliban tactics.
Reporting by Jibran Ahmad; Writing by Michael Georgy, Editing by Nick Macfie and Michael Roddy