PARACHINAR, Pakistan – A bomb planted near a market in northwestern Pakistan killed 16 people and wounded 17 others Friday, the latest in an uptick in attacks in recent months, government officials said.
The blast occurred in Kalaya, the main town in the Orakzai tribal area, said local government administrator Khaistan Akbar. Orakzai is one of several areas in the semiautonomous tribal region along the Afghan border where the military has been battling a domestic Taliban insurgency.
No group has claimed responsibility for the latest bombing, but Taliban militants regularly target security forces and civilians in the area.
The blast occurred near government and security offices, according to another local administrator, Javed Khan. It damaged one of the shops in the market. Some of the wounded were in critical condition, he said.
Initially, the death toll stood at 10 with 23 people wounded. But Khan said that six of those who were wounded later died at a hospital in Kalaya, increasing the death toll to 16. The 17 others who were wounded were being treated, including three who were in critical condition.
The military has launched multiple operations against the Pakistani Taliban in the northwest since 2009, but the militants have proved resilient and continue to carry out attacks.
Also on Friday, unknown attackers fired rocket-propelled grenades at a paramilitary convoy in southwestern Baluchistan province, killing one soldier and wounding five others, said police official Babil Dashti. Two vehicles were damaged in the attack, which took place in Turbat district, said Dashti.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Baluch nationalists have waged a decades-long insurgency against the government for greater autonomy and a larger share of the province's natural resources. The province is also home to many radical Islamist militants.