At least one person was killed and 18 others suffered injuries when a bomb concealed on a horse cart went off outside a private school in the Nuthia locality of Peshawar Cantonment on Wednesday, police said.
“This attack was carried out by hidden explosives on the horse cart, which delivered fodder to an animal barn in the area,” City Police Chief Liaqat Ali Khan told reporters.
He said that the fodder provider had gone inside an alley to deliver supplies to a customer when the blast took place. It was a remote controlled device and police are interrogating some people, he said but refused to provide further details.
The police chief asserted that militants can no longer carry out major attacks, which is why they are now targeting schools.
He said that police force is monitoring some people on suspicion of militancy, adding that some remnants of militants have taken refuge in Peshawar in the guise of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
The Bomb Disposal Unit (BDU) said at least five kilogrammes of explosives were detonated in the blast.
The explosion took place in Gul Abad Road area of Nuthia locality at around 8 am outside the Shah Faisal Model School. The blast was so powerful that it was heard in far off areas, spreading panic among residents. It also smashed windowpanes of nearby houses and schools.
Ghulam Abbas, a resident who was the first person to reach the scene, told The Express Tribune that he saw a dead body and injured people lying in pools of blood. The horse also perished, while the cart was blown to pieces, he said. The injured were shifted to a nearby hospital.
Shah Faisal Model School principal Islamuddin told The Express Tribune that around 10 students sustained minor injuries in the attack. He said that it was beyond him why such an attack occurred in the area, which is usually peaceful. He added that they have not received any threats before.
Ihsan Iqbal, the owner of the barn, told The Express Tribune that fodder for his animals was provided by Israr, a resident of Palosi village, for the past four years.
He said that usually the cart comes inside the street, but the street was dug up for civic work.Locals said Israr handed himself over to the police following the blast.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 20th, 2011.
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