Reprisal assault: Car bombing kills 30 in Khyber

Published: January 10, 2012

Security personnel examine the site of a bomb blast in Jamrud on January 10, 2011. PHOTO: AFP

Security personnel examine the site of a bomb blast in Jamrud on January 10, 2011. PHOTO: AFP Rescue workers go through the wreckage of damaged vehicles at the site of a bomb explosion in Jamrud bazaar, about 25 km west of Peshawar on January 10, 2012. PHOTO: REUTERS Rescue workers survey the wreckage of damaged vehicles at the site of a bomb explosion in Jamrud bazaar, about 25 km (15 miles) west of Peshawar on January 10, 2012.  PHOTO: REUTERS

PESHAWAR: At least 30 people were killed and dozens wounded in a remote-controlled bomb attack, targeting members of a tribal militia, in a busy market in the Jamrud sub-division of the Khyber tribal region.

It came as part of a string of attacks in the tribal belt in the aftermath of security forces killing senior members of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan. Though the TTP claimed responsibility for earlier attacks, the group disowned Tuesday’s bombing at Jamrud Bazaar.

A pickup truck parked at a filling station close to a bus stand contained hundreds of kilogrammes of explosives mixed with rockets and mortar shells. The resulting blast was immense, an official from the bomb disposal unit told The Express Tribune.

Sources said that the explosion took place at a time when members of a tribal militia, Zakhakhel Qaumi Lashkar to be more precise, were boarding a vehicle. According to Assistant Political Agent Muhammad Jameel, the bus stop and fuelling station were frequently used by Zakhakhel tribesmen. However, he added that “there were innocent people who wanted peace that were killed.”

The impact of the blast left the nearby buildings in tatters and several vehicles damaged.  An eyewitness said that he heard a huge explosion followed by thick pall of smoke. “It was a doomsday scenario. Blood-stained human limbs were scattered everywhere – and the injured were crying for help,” Riaz Khan told The Express Tribune at the site of the blast.

Another passerby, Waheedullah, said that he was at least 50 yards from the blast site. “My vehicle moved off its course, and when I turned back there were people stuck under the debris of the vehicles that were on fire.”

The burnt out wreckage of at least cars littered the scene next to the shattered glass of at least nine destroyed shopfronts. Trails of blood could be seen around the site of the blast, which had left a large crater in the road.

Authorities have confirmed the casualties. “The total number of deaths is 30 while 72 people were wounded,” Shakeel Khan Umarzai, Assistant Political Agent for Jamrud, told The Express Tribune. Authorities also confirmed that the dead include four members of the local Khasadar Force.

The injured were ferried to the Hayatabad Medical Complex and Khyber Teaching Hospital and Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar. Some of them are said to be in a critical condition. The Political Agent of Khyber Agency, Mutahir Zeb, told the media that it was not clear who could be the possible target, while terming the attack a reprisal from militants after a successful operation by security forces.

But residents suggested that the target was obviously Zakhakhel tribesmen who have raised a militia against Lashkar-e-Islam extremist group, led by its notorious commander Mangal Bagh Afridi.

“We left our villages in Tirah Valley where they have unleashed a reign of terror. But even in Jamrud and in Peshawar we are not safe from these ruthless killers,” Abdullah, who belongs to Zakhakhel tribe, told The Express Tribune referring to LeI fighters.

A person claiming to be the spokesperson for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Tariq Group, whose influence is widely spread throughout the agency, called journalists and said the group had nothing to do with the attack. TTP spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan also disowned the attack in an email sent to the media.

In a related incident, militants set off bombs in a mobile phone market and a state-run school in the neighbouring Landikotal subdivision. Sources said that the market and the school were targeted in the Bazaar Zakhakhel area. Four people were wounded in both incidents but doctors said their wounds were not life threatening.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 11th, 2012.

Reader Comments (34)

  • Patriotic
    Jan 10, 2012 - 11:56AM

    these terrorist won’t stop…forget peace deals with them…they say female education is un-islamic, they won’t accept freedom of speech or religion: what possibly will a “peace deal” gain, other than giving them time to reorganize, kidnap a few hundred more teenagers to brainwash and collapse this country’s foundations once and for all. Just send in the army; we may have made a mistake by engaging the army in some areas of our tribal regions before, but now there are militants swarming in those areas, and calling back the army now won’t help at all…eliminate these barbarians once and for all- they stopped being a strategic interest the day they killed their first innocent Pakistani man! And this was eons ago!

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  • R S JOHAR
    Jan 10, 2012 - 12:52PM

    Pakistan going for the peace agreement with TTP yet again has proved to be a costly blunder resulting in scores of casualities amongst the security forces and volunteers. The peace agreement might never materialise or not likely to be honored by this rogue outfit as done in the past three occasions. Pak security forces should now intensify its operations against TTP and stop further negotiations with them.

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  • Khurram Mansoor
    Jan 10, 2012 - 12:55PM

    INNA lILAHI WA INA ILYHE RAJIYON

    how was this person able to attack such a big gathering

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  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Jan 10, 2012 - 1:00PM

    So, drones were bad?

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  • Mard-e-Haq
    Jan 10, 2012 - 1:13PM

    What is the army waiting for???? Just hunt and kill these militants. Are they still hoping that these terrorists will change their minds and do jihad in Kashmir?

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  • Shaesta
    Jan 10, 2012 - 2:11PM

    Another sad n bad news

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  • Hedgefunder
    Jan 10, 2012 - 3:02PM

    So this is what happens when your assets are sheltered and fed, by the very people, who are suppose to be Guardians of security of the Nation !!!
    Its high time that this country and its people wake up and face reality, otherwise it will be too late and will be destroyed from within !

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  • Feroz
    Jan 10, 2012 - 3:38PM

    @Mard-e-Haq:
    How can the army attack its own progeny and non state Asset ? What if a few citizens or soldiers have to be sacrificed for its national interests ? Dont you know the World has an evil eye on Pakistan and is out to destroy it ? Better that the good Taliban does the job, Ghairat cannot be compromised.

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  • Kafka
    Jan 10, 2012 - 4:37PM

    Now TTP says they are not responsible, then who is?

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  • Hu Jintao
    Jan 10, 2012 - 5:48PM

    @Yuri Kondratyuk:
    Yeah they are bad, any doubt?

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  • Abu
    Jan 10, 2012 - 5:52PM

    Sowing rice we will lead to the harvesting of rice, and same way by sowing weed we will reap us the weed(hear we are sowing poisonous weed)…

    To bleed our neighbours we trained the terrorists and now the same lunatics are turning their guns against us, I know how many of us felt happy inside us when the terrorists from our soil went on rampage in Mumbai killing innocent people some time back, and still one brain washed kid from our soil is languishing in Mumbai Jail. As a country we come to road and burn public property if there is a problem in Palestine or any Muslim country, for us problem in Iraq to Istanbul is our own issue on the basis of Muslim Ummah formula – but recently the so called brotherly nations of country Saudi Arabia and Kuwait rejected our claim for petrol bailout!!!…

    We us a nation can only survive if we over come associating each and every thing to our religion…we can learn lesson form Dubai a tiny place on earth with no worth while natural resources – but with their progressive mind set they are progressing and becoming one of the major global destination…

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  • naif sultan
    Jan 10, 2012 - 5:54PM

    when man becomes worse than animals he does such kind of acts animals do not kill on such a large scale and animals do not hate others

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  • Common Man
    Jan 10, 2012 - 6:56PM

    When will this fanatic insanity end ?
    When will the mullahas stop brainwashing an innocent kid’s mind ?

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  • Akthar
    Jan 10, 2012 - 6:57PM

    First thing the Army must do is pull out the forces and take out all control from KP to Baloch; Let the Tribes govern themselves. Provide them Autonomy. History has always proved that this region cannot be governed.

    If we dont stop meddling with this region, soon, Pakistan will become 4 countries. We must understand that these tribes have a different language, culture, customs which we should be left untouched. There`s no point blaming conspiracies on other countries & we ourselves are to blame.

    We spend huge amount of money on this war, lives are being lost, Afghanistan is in turmoil, Iran blames us, and we are losing our peace of mind. If militants from this part attack Iran, let Iran respond. Let`s not bother about this region.

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  • Observer
    Jan 10, 2012 - 8:00PM

    @Mard-e-Haq:

    The question is what is it that you are ‘hoping’. Do unto others what you would want done unto you….

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  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Jan 10, 2012 - 8:15PM

    @Hu Jintao:
    Ok let me rephrase.
    Were drones bad for taliban?

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  • DB
    Jan 10, 2012 - 8:38PM

    You cannot fight this insurgency with violence alone, yet posters here seem oblviious to this fact. Pakistan cannot do it, world’s superpower and most advanced nations can’t do it, so why do liberals keep pushing on more war and drones on hapless Pakistanis, when they will neither fight this war or be a part of the blowback?

    It is the poor jawan, officer, talib and civilian that die for liberals and radical mullahs thirst for blood.

    It is as if, liberals want this cycle of violence to continue over peace with those willing for peace. Not all of the TTP is the same, they are divided and this is the hardcore AQ/Hakeemullah Mehsud faction doing this to stop peace talks. Open your eyes for once!

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  • Mard-e-Haq
    Jan 10, 2012 - 8:51PM

    @Observer,

    If I live by the sword by killing innocents, I would expect nothing less to be done unto me.

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  • Hu Jintao
    Jan 10, 2012 - 9:38PM

    @Yuri Kondratyuk:
    They weren’t bombing talibans if i recall. All they bomb are SUSPECTED militants and ofcourse women and children.

    Was terrorist attacks non existent during drone attacks? NO!
    Are their attacks lowered in numbers without drones? Yes!

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  • wali khan shinwari
    Jan 10, 2012 - 10:17PM

    KHYBER AGENCY. The Governament should think over and change the Forign Policy as pakistan is losing its civilians on the name of war on terror. Every one knows and this is clear that this is not pak war but this US War. Thousands of innocent people have lost thier lives on the war on terror. The Paksitan was a paradise for paksitanis but now it has become Hell where the peaple are in the mouth of death. so shame for those who take dolllers fo the coffins of innocent people. Pakistan should take concrete steps to maintain peace and takeout the peaple from darkness o the light.

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  • Cautious
    Jan 10, 2012 - 10:46PM

    So much for the prediction that everything was going to be “peachy” once you abandoned the War on Terror. Maybe the Taliban don’t care whether you have blocked NATO supplies – kicked out the American’s etc. – maybe the Taliban have their own plans for Pakistan.

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  • Grace
    Jan 10, 2012 - 11:46PM

    @Observer/ Cautious/ Mard i Haq/ Abu/ Johar : Of course that is what he and other Indians who are commenting here hope for. We need to teach the anti state criminals who commit such terrorist attecks that our resolve to defeat them will never end. After all, you can see how killing innocent Pakistani civilians attracts many Indians to this site to post comments under real and assumed names. The terrorists are killing Pakistanis to please their foreign masters.

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  • Jan 11, 2012 - 12:04AM

    Another terror attack, another 29 innocent people dead! This is the legacy of the terrorists who are bent on destroying Pakistan and killing innocent Pakistanis. At the hands of these terrorists, Pakistan has lost over 35,000 innocent civilians and 5,000 military personal. Pakistan has already rejected these violent extremist organizations. According to a PEW poll conducted last year, just 12% of Pakistanis have a positive view of al Qaeda, down from 18% in 2010. Only 12% give the Taliban a favorable rating and when asked more specifically about the Tehrik-i-Taliban (which is based in Pakistan) and the Afghan Taliban, Pakistanis give both groups similarly low levels of support.

    The terrorists are desperate, in a last ditch effort, they want to inflict as much damage as possible and their wrath is directed towards the innocent people of Pakistan. The sooner these terrorists are eliminated the sooner peace will return to region.

    Maj David Nevers,
    DET-United States Central Command
    http://www.centcom.mil/ur

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  • Ali Wali
    Jan 11, 2012 - 12:26AM

    I don’t know how low these mass murderers Talibans or other arbiters of faith will stoop, they should understand that sadly Pakistani public has become so desensitized that daily mass murders of innocents are no more important than cricket score for them.

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  • Sajida
    Jan 11, 2012 - 1:01AM

    These terrorists are absorbing the Wahhabi fundamentalist mentality. They do not know the Saudi Government which promotes it also doesn’t follow that policy in its international relations and in fact is linchpin of dollar/oil deal.

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  • rk from NY
    Jan 11, 2012 - 5:24AM

    hahaha…who needs drones when you are perfectly capable of killing your fellow men all on your own..at least with US drones you got paid…now killing without US payment…keep it up pakis..

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  • Sameer
    Jan 11, 2012 - 5:24AM

    @Yuri Kondratyuk: Both Taliban and Drones kill civilians, neither is acceptable. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism confirms as many as 780 civilians and 175 children have been killed due to drone strikes.
    http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2011/12/14/analysis-where-us-drones-are-going-after-iraq/

    @US CENTCOM: Those 12% approving of Taliban are actually Taliban pretending to be Pakistani.

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  • Pakdostnot
    Jan 11, 2012 - 7:33AM

    Look, stop “good” talibans from attacking Afghans and Afghanistan, give Afghans their land back (Pashtoonistan & Balochistan) and give up you nuclear weapons then they might stop terror and kilings in Pakistan… Trust me, it is just the begining, it can and will get very very worse… So, the ball is in your court!

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  • jibbs
    Jan 11, 2012 - 10:08AM

    And we thought boycott of Bonn conference will be a tough lesson to the US and Nato. Instead they have side lined Pakistan, and while the talibans are continuing to Bomb innocent Pakistanis, they are on a negotiating table with the US and opening their office in Qatar!

    But as the saying goes… You reap what you sow…
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  • R S JOHAR
    Jan 11, 2012 - 10:16AM

    @Grace:
    Your comment lacks logic. Some Pakistanis tend to believe that this home grown outfit is supported from outside which is quite irrationale thinking. Firstly India would be the last country to see Pakistan Talabanised because Indian Kashmir would be their first target and they would use nuclear bombs without thinking of any consequences. US too would not risk supporting any terrorist organisation lest nuclear arsenal should fall into their hands. TTP is widely believed to be receiving huge amount of funds from a Middle East country. Pakistan regular army and not para-military forces, should take on this outfit with all its might and not get intimidated by its tactics of carrying out bomb blasts in civilian areas.

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  • Salim
    Jan 11, 2012 - 7:49PM

    It is ok if Mulims kill Muslims but we will crush all others who kill Muslims e.g. Americans, Indians or Israelis.

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  • Johnny
    Jan 11, 2012 - 8:39PM

    Just another bomb blast, who cares – Thoughts of an average Pakistani

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  • Jan 12, 2012 - 6:25AM

    @Sameer:

    Those 12% approving of Taliban are actually Taliban pretending to be Pakistani.

    ?!

    Wow.

    How long and far are we going to stay deluded and in denial continuing the lies and deceit to ourselves and others, making complete utter psychotic fools of ourselves?!

    Many of these criminals and their sympathizers ARE indeed Pakistani citizens or of Pakistani origin, besides other nationalities (no, not CIA/Mossad/RAW and Martians! But other Arab and non-Arab extremists, besides Afghans)!

    Accept it and deal with it.

    ’12% approving of Taliban are actually Taliban pretending to be Pakistani’…..good grief! The leaps in logic we make to continue our unfounded conspiracy fantasies to hide the plain truth…

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  • Wisal Afridi
    Jan 12, 2012 - 10:30PM

    Wali khan Shinwari@ Wali khan Say that Forign Policy as pakistan is losing its civilians on the name of war on terror. So what can do Pakistan ? Do u have any Suggestion ?

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