A bomb explosion has ripped through a busy marketplace in Kalaya town in Pakistan’s northwest province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa killing at least 25 people, officials say.
Abbas Khan, the assistant commissioner of the district, told Reuters on Friday that a suicide bomber drove a motorcycle into a crowd attending a festival and market that attracts people from different religious communities, before detonating his explosives.
“It was a suicide blast at the festival that takes place every Friday,” Khan said, adding that among the 25 dead were three members of the minority Sikh community and two security officials.
Twenty-six of the wounded are being treated at a government hospital in the town of Kohat, about 50km east of the blast site, police official Nasrullah told Al Jazeera by telephone.
Earlier police officials said the deadly blast was caused by “an improvised explosive device hidden in a carton of vegetables” in this remote town in Orakzai district.
No group has claimed responsibility for the blast in Kalaya town, about 60km southwest of the provincial capital Peshawar, police officials told Al Jazeera.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and his minister for Human Rights, Shireen Mazari, condemned the deadly attack.
Mazari tweeted that the death toll could rise.
“As the US fails in Afghanistan, [Pakistan should] be prepared for [a] fallout and we must ensure greater security for our tribal areas especially protection of our [people],” she tweeted.
The area is a remote part of the Orakzai tribal district, which was recently merged with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, after being governed directly by Islamabad for decades. The blast occurred around the same time as three attackers attempted to storm the Chinese consulate in the southern port city of Karachi in an unrelated incident in which two police officials were killed.