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Bomb hidden in vegetables killing at least 31 in Pakistan market

At least 31 people were killed and 50 were injured when a bomb hidden in a carton of vegetables tore…

At least 31 people were killed and 50 were injured when a bomb hidden in a carton of vegetables tore through a packed market in Pakistan’s peaceful northwestern tribe region on Friday, officials said.

The attack took place during the regular Friday bazaar in Kalaya, a city in a shiite-dominated area in the Orakzai tribal district, senior government minister Khalid Iqbal told AFP.

Another senior official, Ameen Ullah, said 31 people had been killed, including 22 shiites.

More than 50 people were injured, of whom 17 were in critical condition, he said. The tribal police confirmed the road toll.

Orakzai is one of seven remaining semi-autonomous tribal regions on the Afghan border, an area that has long been a focal point in the global war on terrorism and is famous for being described as “the most dangerous place in the world” by Barack Obama.

Washington has insisted that the mountainous region provides safe ports to militants, including the Afghan Taliban and al-Qaeda – a statement that Islamabad denies.

Pakistan, who joined the United States war on terror in 2001, says it has paid the price of the alliance.

It has fought Islamist groups in the tribal field since 2004, after the army entered the region to look for al-Qaeda soldiers who had fled across the border after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan.

Several bloody military operations have been performed in the area, officially known as federally managed tribal areas (FATA), and home to about five million ethnic Pashtuns.

Securit y has improved in the region in recent years, although lower-level attacks are still performed with devastating regularity, which is often targeted at shiites in the area.

But it is still unknown for the availability of cheap rifles and smuggled goods, along with drugs including herb and opium grown in both FATA and neighboring countries in Afghanistan.

Holders also complain of undue harassment of security forces, referring to disappearances and extrajudicial deaths.

Earlier this year, Pakistan passed legislation banning the way for tribal areas to be joined to neighbor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, leading them to the mainstream political mainstream.

The relocated will introduce the Pakistani justice system in a region still resolved by the laws of British colonial times and the system of tribal systems, which has always been on the edge of the state.

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