At least eight people, including a policeman, were killed and 25 others injured in a suicide attack in Hangu district, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
According to police, the suicide bomber was travelling in an explosive-laden car and blew himself up outside a police station in Thall sub-district of Hangu. Eight policemen were injured in the attack.
Thall Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mir Chaman Gul told reporters that the attack took place outside Doaba Police Station at around 8:00am. “The attacker was riding a white-colored double-cabin pickup. He was stopped at the barrier when he tried to enter the police station. (So) he detonated the explosives,” Gul said. The deceased policeman was identified as Raheem.
The Bomb Disposal Unit (BDU) said that around 150 to 200 kilogrammes of explosives were used in the attack. A Rescue 15 building situated outside the police station and 19 shops, 11 houses and a motor bargain centre were damaged from impact. Ten houses were also partially damaged. At least 18 vehicles parked in the police station and bargain centre were also destroyed and a portion of the police station’s building collapsed.
Sources said that the Doaba Police Station was situated in the main bazaar of the area, which is 39 kilometers west of Hangu city close to the Kurram Agency border.
The injured were rushed to a private school in Doaba and CMH Thall and at least eight of them are said to be in critical condition.
No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, senior local police official Abdul Rashid said, while another senior local police official, Muhammad Masood Khan Afridi, confirmed the attack and casualties.
Hangu district has witnessed sustained attacks this year.
On Wednesday, six policemen were injured in a remote-controlled attack on a police mobile in the same area. On January 17, an IED attack on a van killed at least 11 and injured seven, while on March 4, a suicide bomber killed at least nine people and injured 36.
(WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM AFP)
Published in The Express Tribune, March 25th, 2011.
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