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Reports say at least 12 people were killed and some 30 wounded in a bomb explosion at a market in Pakistan near the Afghan border.

Pakistani officials said the blast occurred as the market in the town of Parachinar was crowded with shoppers on December 13. ​

A large number of people, including women, were buying warm clothes when the bomb went off around noon local time, Ali Turi, a shopkeeper, told the German news agency dpa from the area.

"It was very loud," Turi said, describing the scene. "We ran out, people were screaming, and then there were bodies and blood all around."

Local television footage showed hundreds of male marketgoers fleeing the area as police tried to cordon off the location and ambulances rushed to the site.

A doctor at the main local hospital where the wounded were taken told AFP that most of them were in critical condition and that the death toll could increase.

Parachinar is the main town in the Kurram tribal region, which has been a scene of violence by Islamic militants and sectarian conflict between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims.

Suicide attacks and planted bomb explosions have killed scores in the Kurram region.

Pakistan's military has carried out regular operations in the region to eliminate militants and control sectarian strife.

The bombing hit the region a day after the army said it had almost chased insurgents from the last of their mountain hideouts in the nearby North Waziristan tribal district.

A Pakistani Army spokesman said on December 12 that the military had killed 3,400 Taliban rebels in the offensive launched in mid-June 2014.

With reporting by AP, AFP, and dpa

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