NOWSHERA: At least five people lost their lives while 27 others sustained injuries when a bomb went off after the Awami National Party’s (ANP) rally ended in Nowshera on Monday, police confirmed.
According to Express News, the blast took place as soon as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti took off in a helicopter after addressing the rally. The blast took place 50 metres away from the site of the rally.
Express News correspondent Yasir Ali reported that the participants of the rally, thousands in number, were leaving the venue when the blast took place. Eyewitnesses said that some police officials also became a victim of the incident.
Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa Information Minister Iftikhar Hussain confirmed that five people had died, while 27 had been injured. The dead bodies had been shifted to Lady Reading Hospital.
The Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS), after inspecting the site, revealed that an explosives-laden motorcycle with about 3-4kgs explosives was parked by the roadside. The bomb was detonated with a remote-control, and it was not a suicide attack, confirmed BDS officials.
ANP leader Haji Adeel, talking to Express News, condemned the attack and expressed grief over the people who their lives in the incident. He said that his party was “totally against terrorism”.
Commenting on the security arrangements of the rally, Adeel said that if the security was not adequate enough then the blast would have taken place inside the rally instead of 50metres away.
Express News correspondent Jahanzaib Khattak reported that the miscreants were trying to take the motorcycle to the helipad but detonated the bomb when the police tried to stop the vehicle.
He added that two police officials were also among the dead.
Provincial leader Liaquat Shabab paid condolences to the families of the deceased and paid tribute to the police officials for laying their lives in order to avoid “an even worse possible incident”.
ANP leader Ghulam Ahmed Bilour termed such incidents as an “international conspiracy” and said that such incidents are pulling people away from Islam.
Rescue operation is underway at the site while the injured and the dead were shifted to different hospitals. Hospital officials said that at least 15 people sustained injuries in the attack.
Around 5,000 participants were present at the rally, as well as several other party leaders.