MANSEHRA: A police van carrying 32 recruits was attacked by a remote-controlled bomb when it was near Perkhoona village in Torghar district, at about 7:30 am on Saturday. The attack left four recruits dead and 15 others injured; some of the injured were said to be in critical condition.
Just recently, the police department recruited over 300 men to join the newly-established police department in Torghar. The van was headed to the Abbottabad police training school when it came under attack, DCO Muhammad Farid Khan told The Express Tribune. According to him, the bomb was planted on Oghi Road and killed two recruits on the spot. “Yes, it was a roadside bomb which was detonated through a remote control … the bomb killed four recruits and injured 15 others,” Hazara Commissioner Khalis Khan Umerzai said.
According to sources and eyewitnesses, recruits travelling in other vehicles immediately carried out a rescue operation with help from locals. They moved the bodies and the injured to Ayub Medical Complex, Abbottabad Two more recruits succumbed to their wounds on the way to the hospital, raising the death toll to four.
The deceased were identified as Nadeem, Inamullah Khan, Fazalur Rehman and Banaras Khan.
“We were engrossed in our usual banter, when suddenly our van sprang in the air and overturned with a loud bang. All I recall is seeing a cloud of smoke, body parts and the injured men scattered around,” Gulshanullah Khan, one of the injured, said while talking to the media at the hospital.
All the recruits were extremely happy to join their colleagues who had been sent for training earlier, to become part of the new police force in the tribal area which was earlier part of PATA [Provincially Administered Tribal Area], he said. “Little did we know what fate had in store for us,” Khan added.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far. However, according to the Hazara commissioner, the attack was carried out by men of the same banned outfit that carried out a suicide attack at Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid leader Ameer Muqqam’s public meeting in Battagram on July 11 this year.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 2nd, 2011.