Peshawar suicide attack
39 injured; TTP claims responsibility; official says when bomber blew up, vehicles caught fire and a roof in Karkhano Market collapsed
By Javed Aziz Khan &
PESHAWAR/JAMRUD: Twelve persons, including a journalist, were killed while 39 others sustained injuries on Tuesday when a suicide bomber targetted the tribal Khassadar force in the Karkhano Market close to the Peshawar boundary with Khyber Agency.
Meanwhile, the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack. The claim was also reported by TV channels.
The police and Khassadars said the bomber parked his motorbike and walked towards the Line Officer Nawab Shah of the Khassadar Force and his Khassadar Force and his guards. “The bomber detonated his explosives vest. The car of the Line Officer and another vehicle caught fire while the roof of a nearby shop caved in after the blast,” said an official.
Those killed in the blast included Line Officer Nawab Shah and Mehboob Shah Afridi, president of the Tribal Union of Journalists, Khyber Agency chapter, who was talking to him at the time of explosion. Others who lost their lives were Gul Sahib, Raziq Khan and Waris Khan, all members of the Khassadar force, and civilians Taimur Khan, Mubarak Shah, Malik Khan, Mohammadullah, Ashfaq Khan and the wife of one Shoaib. A child was also among the dead.
The security personnel rushed to the spot immediately after the explosion and cordoned off the area. The road connecting Khyber Agency with Peshawar remained blocked for some time after the blast. The site of the blast is nearby the Karkhano Market police post, which is located in the settled area of Peshawar district. However, the blast took place in the limits of the tribal territory of Khyber Agency.
The sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) Hayatabad said the police rushed to the spot immediately as the incident occurred hardly 30 metres from the Karkhano checkpost, the entry-point to Peshawar from Khyber Agency.
“The bomber parked his motorcycle and then exploded himself close to the officer of the Khassadar force,” SDPO Hayatabad Syed Atiq Shah told The News. Earlier, an official of the political administration told the media that the bomber rammed his explosives-laden motorbike into the checkpost to target the Khassadars.
Emergency was declared in the public hospitals in Peshawar after the blast. This was the biggest attack on the security forces in or around Peshawar since September 18 last year when attackers armed with heavy weapons and grenades stormed a camp of the Pakistan Air Force in Badaber.
The wounded were rushed from Jamrud to the Hayatabad Medical Complex and Khyber Teaching Hospital in Peshawar. “We have shifted 25 of those wounded and four bodies to the hospitals in Peshawar,” said Bilal Faizi, the spokesperson for the Rescue 1122.
Other victims were transported to hospitals in private vehicles. “Our men respondedwithin three minutes with six ambulances and a fire vehicle,” added the Rescue 1122 official. He said that 11 people were killed and 39 injured in the attack.
The injured were identified as Khan Mohammad, Khalid Khan, Misri Khan, Qari Israrullah, Zahir, Zaheer Ahmad, Haji Tariq, Wajid Shah, Ghalib, Irfan Afridi, Mohammad Alam, Akhtar, Nasir, Sakhi Jan, Abdul Qayyum, Bahadur Khan, Abdul Qadir, Badshah Gul, Meenat Shah, Mohammad Hakeem, Kashif Shah, Ajmal, Reham, Matiullah, Sajjad, Mohammad Anwar, Jan Mohammad, Ittehad, Waris Khan, Himat, Mohammadullah, Tehsin, Ahmad and Ibrahim.
Meanwhile, the funeral prayers for Khassadars’ Line Officer Nawab Shah and journalist Mehboob Shah Afridi were offered in their native Shahkas and Qambarkhel areas. The funerals were largely attended by people from different walks of life.
Talking to reporters, Khyber Agency’s Political Agent Syed Shahab Ali Shah said that special Shaheed compensation package would soon be announced for all the martyrs. He said the educational expenses and monthly stipends would be given to the children of Mehboob Shah Afridi and the Bara Press Club after him.
Former federal minister Noorul Haq Qadri and former senator Abdul Malik condemned the attack. The members of Parliament from Khyber Agency included Shahjee Gul Afridi, Nasir Khan Afridi and Momin Khan Afridi also condemned the bombing.
Governor Sardar Mahtab Ahmad Khan also condemned the blast and expressed his deep shock and sorrow over the loss of precious lives. The governor directed the political administration to expedite the rescue efforts and relief activities and provide the best medical treatment to the injured, said a handout.
He announced the payment of the Shaheed compensation package for the injured and the families of martyrs. APP adds: President Mamnoon Hussain strongly condemned the suicide blast. He expressed his grief over the death of a number of people in the blast including a journalist from tribal areas. He said such cowardly acts could not weaken the government’s resolve against terrorism and Operation Zarb-e-Azb would continue till the complete elimination of this menace.