A bomb targeting Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa minister for agriculture Arbab Ayub Jan went off close to his residence here on Sunday, injuring three people including the minister’s nephew, said the police.
The remote-controlled blast took place when a car carrying the minister’s guests came out of his house in the Turnab Farm area on the main Grand Trunk (GT) Road, in the limits of the Chamkani police station, an official told The Express Tribune.
“Arbab Inam and some other people had come to meet the minister and were on the way back when the blast took place, injuring the guests and damaging their vehicle,” the police official said.
The minister was at his residence at the time of the attack, the official said, adding that the Chamkani police have registered a first information report against unidentified militants.
There were no arrests till the filing of this report.
The official added that the injured were rushed to the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) and were discharged after necessary treatment.
Rescue 1122 sources identified the injured as 38-year-old Arbab Inamullah, Arshad Khan, 25, and 20-year-old Shakeel Azam, a resident of Chamkani.
The bomb was an improvised explosive device (IED) weighing around two and half kilogrammes and packed in a ghee canister, said a bomb disposal unit official. The explosives were planted by the roadside and detonated with a remote control, he added.
The minister was the target in this attack and the militants could not differentiate between his car and his nephew’s since both are of the same colour and make, Awami National Party (ANP) spokesperson Arbab Tahir told The Express Tribune.
“They probably mistook the guests for the minister,” Tahir said, adding that Jan was scheduled to go out at the same time as well.
He said that security is provided at minister’s residence and there is a police barrier at a distance of 100 metres from his home. The blast took place on GT Road, at some distance from Jan’s home and it is impossible to deploy security everywhere, he added. It is a continuation of attack on ANP leaders, Tahir said, adding they will not be scared by it and will continue to fight against militancy.
Jan could not be reached for his comments despite repeated attempts.
Ruling ANP leaders including its chief Asfandyar Wali Khan, Afrasyab Khattak and Bashir Ahmed Bilour have been attacked during the past few years and hundreds of party activists have been killed by militants during the ongoing war against militancy.
Militants also killed Mian Arshad Hussain, the only son of outspoken information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain last year in July, in Pabbi Town of district Nowshera.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 9th, 2011.