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Peshawar

March 2, 2016

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US Consulate’s official, driver killed in Mohmand blast

Jamaatul Ahrar claims responsibility

 GHALLANAI: Two employees of the Narcotics Affairs Section at the US embassy were killed in an explosion caused by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Ambar tehsil in Mohmand Agency, official sources said.

Those killed were identified as Faisal Khan, an official at the Narcotics Affairs Section (NAS) based at the US consulate in Peshawar, and his driver Abid Shah. Another official Aftab Khan, who was a monitoring officer, the local Naib Tehsildar identified as Faramosh Khan, and two personnel of the Khassadar Force were wounded in the blast and had to be hospitalized.

John Kerry, the US secretary of state, was later quoted by the media as saying that two members of their diplomatic mission in Pakistan had been killed.

The NAS has for years been carrying out inspection of the poppy cultivation areas in Fata and leading efforts in cooperation with the Pakistan government to tackle the cultivation of poppies. It used to have Americans working at the Peshawar office, but now mostly Pakistani staff is handling the work.

There were reports that the militant group, Jamaatul Ahrar, a splinter faction of the outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), claimed responsibility for the attack. The Jamaatul Ahrar leadership is based in Afghanistan and is led by Abul Wali aka Omar Khalid Khorasani. It escaped to Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province after the military operation against it in Mohmand Agency. The group has undertaken a number of terrorist attacks in recent days killing several personnel of the Levies and Khassadar forces.

The IED was reportedly planted at the roadside in Sangar area in Ambar tehsil. The blast was triggered when the NAS staff members accompanied by the local administrative officials led by Faramosh Khan, the Naib Tehsildar, were on a visit to check progress on controlling poppy-cultivation.

The bodies of the two slain men and the four wounded persons were shifted to the Agency Headquarters Hospital in Ghallanai. The injured men were later taken to the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar.

Later, the security forces personnel accompanied by the officials of the political administration of Mohmand Agency cordoned off the area and launched a search operation to apprehend the attackers and their accomplices. There were no reports about any arrests yet.

 

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