PESHAWAR: Three persons were killed and five others sustained injuries in a suicide attack on the car of an Afghan cleric outside the Jamia Uloom-e-Islamia seminary in the Saeedabad locality near the Pajaggi Road here on Friday.
The apparent target of the bomber was Hayatullah, who remained unharmed in the attack that took place after the Friday prayers. Hayatullah had been an Afghan Mujahideen commander during the Jihad against the Soviet occupying forces in the 1980s in his native Kunar province. His uncle, Sheikh Jamilur Rehman, led a Salafi group, Jamat-ud-Dawatul Quran wa Sunnah, that fought against the Soviet Red Army and Afghan communist regime in eastern Afghanistan. He was killed in August 1991. The Salafis were involved in fighting later against the Hezb-e-Islami (Hekmatyar). For a while in subsequent years, the group was at odds with the Taliban and Karzai government.
Superintendent of Police (SP), City, Khalid Hamdani, said the suicide bomber attacked the vehicle when it was being driven out of the seminary after the Friday prayers. The bomber targeted the side of the vehicle where the driver was seated.
“The driver and another person in the car were killed when the bomber blew himself up close to the vehicle,” said Khalid Hamdani.The two slain persons were identified as Gul Nabi, a guest of Hayatullah, and driver Abdul Hadi. Another unidentified person died later. Five people who got injured in the attack were worshippers or passers-by.
The targeted car was destroyed in the blast while the boundary wall and some portion of the seminary were damaged. Hayatullah had not boarded the vehicle when the attack took place. The police officials believed the bomber probably mistook Gul Nabi for Hayatullah.
The experts from the Bomb Disposal Unit (BDU) confirmed that it was a suicide bombing. “We recovered the legs and other body parts of the bomber. We also recovered a mechanical trigger that substantiated the evidence that it was a suicide attack,” said Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of the BDU, Shafqat Malik. He said pellets were added to around six kilograms explosives used in the blast to cause maximum damage. Police were investigating the reasons for targeting Hayatullah. It is believed the attack was linked to disputes between various Afghan groups.
APP adds: President Asif Ali Zardari and Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan strongly condemned the suicide attack in Peshawar, that caused injuries and loss of precious lives.
In their separate statements, they expressed grief over the loss of precious lives. They prayed that Almighty Allah rest the departed souls in eternal peace and grant courage to the bereaved families to bear the loss with equanimity.