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A deadly blast near a mosque in Pakistan killed at least 22 people and wounded dozens more

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A powerful bomb exploded near a minority Shiite Muslim place of worship in the northwest town of Parachinar on Friday, killing at least 22 people and wounding over 50 others, officials said.

Mushtaq Ghani, a spokesman for the provincial government, said the attack took place near Parachinar's Shiite mosque, which is located near the Noor Market. TV footage showed people transporting the victims in ambulances and private vehicles.

Here is a tweet from the AFP news agency confirming the rising death toll.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but the blast, which took place as people gathered for Friday prayers near the women's entrance of a Shia mosque in the central bazaar, follows a series of attacks this year.

The blast was so powerful it also damaged vehicles and nearby shops, according to government administrator Zahid Hussain. He said authorities have announced an emergency and rescuers are transporting the dead and wounded to nearby hospitals.

The local Pakistan Muslim League issued a statement condemning the bombing.

The blast came hours after sate-run media said Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain had signed a bill removing the last hurdle for the revival of military courts to try terrorism suspects.

--The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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