DERA ISMAIL KHAN: A suicide bomber blew himself up near a police party, killing two people, including a policeman, and injuring seven others on Circular Road here on Monday.
Eyewitnesses said a police party was manning a passage leading to Noorani Darul Uloom, an Islamic seminary, near the State Life building when they spotted a suspicious young man. However, the man, who happened to be a suicide bomber, detonated the charge, killing himself and a policeman, Halim. Eight people, including two policemen and a passer-by, were critically injured. The bombing occurred just before a 9th of Muharram procession was to pass the area.
The injured were ferried to a hospital, where the passer-by, identified as Naseer, succumbed to his injuries. The other injured were Bilal, Abdul Aziz, Muhammad Yaqoob, Said Khan, Munshi Naseer, and Jahangir. They have been shifted to the district headquarters hospital. According to police sources, one of the injured is said to be in critical condition.
Eyewitnesses said the suicide bomber was a young man who seemed to be in his teens. After the incident Circular Road was blocked from all sides, while heavy contingent of the police reached the spot. The police recovered body parts of the bomber and sent them for DNA test.
Our Bannu correspondent adds: Twelve people, including a minor, were injured as two rockets landed near an Imambargah in the Mandan Gate area here on Monday evening. According to the police the rockets fired from a distance of about one kilometre landed near Mohalla Hussain Abad Imambargah at Androon Mandan Gate at 7.15pm. One of the rockets exploded, injuring 11 people, while the other didn’t explode. The injured were rushed to the district headquarters hospital.
The injured include a minor Muskan, Marjan Ali, Mohammad Ramazan, Ashraf Ali, Amjad Hussain Shah, Babar Ali, Liaqat Ali, Rizwan Ali, Mujahid Ali, Ghulam Shabir, Waqar Ali and Bilal.
NWFP Chief Minister Akram Khan Durrani has condemned the attack and termed it part of the ongoing terrorist activities in the country. The chief minister announced Rs 50,000 each as compensation for those injured in the attack.
Agencies add: Earlier the D I Khan police claimed that they have arrested a six-member suicide attackers’ gang along with explosive belts in an operation in DI Khan. According to government sources, police and intelligence agencies conducted a raid in Nawab Zafar Abbas Colony here and arrested six persons. Belts of explosives were also recovered from them.
The arrested men are believed to belong to the Baitullah Mehsood Group of the local Taliban based in South Waziristan, according to TV reports. They were shifted to some unidentified location by helicopter on Monday morning.
However, the local police have refused to confirm the incident. While police and official sources have confirmed recovering explosive belts from the arrested men and videos showing Taliban activities are stated to be found from the cell phones of the arrested persons.
According to government sources, the gang had planned suicide attacks in Dera Ismail Khan during Muharram. Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao said he could not confirm the arrests. President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, meanwhile, condemned the D I Khan suicide attack, and said the writ of the government would be maintained at all costs.
Sources said the president and the prime minister while expressing their grief over the loss of precious lives in the attack, said some anti-state elements wanted to destroy the country’s peace and they are just playing with the lives of innocent people for the accomplishment of their nefarious designs.
The government is making efforts to track down these elements and would award them exemplary punishment, they said. In their separate messages, they have directed provision of every possible treatment to the injured. Both, president and the prime minister have also directed the NWFP governor and chief minister to immediately probe into the incident.