Death toll rises to 47 in Parachinar Blast

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Islamabad, Feb 17 (UNI) The death toll in the Parachinar suicide blast yesterday rose to 47 as nine more succumbed to their severe wounds at Agency Headquarters' Hospital of Kurram Agency, hospital sources said today.

The death toll may rise further as several patients are still in precarious conditions, according to Casualty Medical Officer at the Agency Headquarters Hospital, Dr Farhad Ali.

The critically injured have been shifted to Peshawar and the power supply, which was disrupted due to high intensity of the blast, has been restored, Mr Ali told the Associated Press of Pakistan.

A suicide bomber rammed a car loaded with explosives into the election office of the Pakistan People's Party-backed independent candidate in Parachinar city of Pakistan yesterday, leaving 40 people dead and injuring 109.

Dr Syed Riaz Hussain Shah, contesting the election from NA-37, was not present in his election office at the time of the bombing.

Reuters adds: Government authorities of Pakistan have imposed a curfew in Parachinar today, an official said.

''We haved imposed a curfew to avert any riots. If the situation remains calm then we may relax it,'' Zaheer-ul-Islam, the district's top government administrator, told Reuters.

Mr Islam blamed ''anti-state elements'' for the blast. Another official said a head, suspected to be that of the suicide bomber, had been found.

Mr Islam said authorities had not yet made a decision on whether to go ahead with voting tomorrow. ''It depends on the situation,'' he said.

UNI XC RJ Mir BD1520

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