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Death Toll in Pakistan Attacks Tops 60

Death Toll in Pakistan Attacks Tops 60Death Toll in Pakistan Attacks Tops 60

The death toll from twin blasts in the northwestern town of Parachinar climbed to 45 overnight, bringing the overall death toll from three separate attacks in Pakistan on Friday to 61, with several others in critical condition, officials said.

Shahid Khan, a government official in Parachinar, confirmed the toll on Saturday, saying residents who had been preparing to celebrate the end of Ramadan were now in mourning.

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a Sunni extremist group, claimed the twin bombings at a crowded market in the Shia-dominated town, linking them to sectarian fighting in Syria, AP reported.

Dr. Sabir Hussain, an official at a government-run hospital in Parachinar, said they had received 261 victims of the twin blasts, with 62 listed in critical condition.

Another 12 people were killed on Friday in a suicide car bombing near the office of the provincial police chief in the southwestern city of Quetta, in an attack claimed by a breakaway Taliban faction and the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group.

On Friday evening, gunmen in the port city of Karachi attacked police officers at a roadside restaurant, killing four of them before fleeing, senior police officer Asif Ahmed said.

Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, a military spokesman, linked the attacks to alleged militant sanctuaries in neighboring Afghanistan and promised greater border security. The two countries often accuse each other of turning a blind eye to militants.

Security forces raided a militant hideout in the northwestern city of Peshawar before dawn Saturday, triggering a shootout in which three Pakistani Taliban were killed and two police officers were wounded, senior police official Sajjad Khan said.

He said the militants were making bombs that likely would have been used to target holiday festivities.

Khan said the identity of the slain militants was not immediately known. But intelligence officials said one of the men has been identified as a wanted militant commander linked to the IS group. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the attacks, which came just days before Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday that marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

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