Bomb blasts in two Pakistani cities killed at least 47 people on Friday, June 23. In Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, a suicide car bomb detonated at around 08:45 (local time) after police stopped the vehicle to search it at a checkpoint. At least 13 people, including seven police officers, were killed and 19 were wounded. The attack was claimed by both Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a splinter group of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, and by the Islamic State (IS). The groups have previously released contradictory claims of responsibility for attacks in Pakistan.
Later on June 23, two bombs were detonated a few minutes apart in a market in the town of Parachinar, located in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. At least 34 people were killed and more than 70 were wounded during the evening rush to buy food for iftar. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack and a state of emergency has reportedly been declared in the town.
The Quetta region of Balochistan province, located in north-central Pakistan, has been wracked by violence in recent months and years due in large part to its position along a prominent arms smuggling route and proximity to the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Car bombs, suicide bombings, and armed attacks are common, and often target the Balochistan Frontier Corps, local police forces, and lawyers. Three policemen were killed by gunmen in a June 11 attack on a security checkpoint on Quetta's main thoroughfare, Saryab Road. The Al-Alami faction of the Sunni militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) claimed responsibility.
Security forces prevented a major terror attack in Parachinar on May 12 when border guards fired at a vehicle they identified as a potential threat attempting to enter Pakistan from Afghanistan. The shots fired at the vehicle detonated explosives hidden inside it. On March 31, 23 people were killed after a car bomb detonated in the town around midday. Previously, 25 people died and 87 were wounded when a bomb went off during peak business hours at the crowded vegetable market on January 21.
Due to a high threat from terrorism, as well as kidnapping and sectarian violence, throughout Pakistan, some Western governments advise their citizens against nonessential travel to the country, where foreign nationals, in particular Westerners, may be directly targeted.
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