DERA ISMAIL KHAN / PESHAWAR: In what seemed like uncannily similar bomb attacks, two government-run schools and a private medical clinic were targeted in different areas near Dera Ismail Khan and Peshawar.
In all three attacks twin bombs were employed to blow up parts of the buildings. Interestingly, police in all the three incidents claimed that one of the bombs exploded while the second was defused. Fortunately, because of the timing of the attacks, which either took place late Saturday night or early Sunday morning – no fatalities came to the fore.
Three rooms, a veranda and the walls of a public middle school were destroyed in Dera town, about 8km from Dera Ismail Khan in the early hours of Sunday morning, police said.
According to the officials, 18kg of explosives, packed in two tin cans, were placed near the school building. One went off while the other was defused by the police. An FIR has been registered against unknown persons and investigation opened.
A senior teacher of the school, Mazhar Hussain said the primary section of the building was intact but the middle school section was destroyed. Hussain and other teachers were trying to uncover school supplies and records amid the debris. They said no threat had been received.
A total of 107 students are enrolled at the school – 60 in the middle section and 47 in the primary section.
Elsewhere, in the Terai Bala village within the Mathra Police Station jurisdiction, another public primary school was targeted.
Police said two improvised explosive devices were planted inside the building of the boys’ primary school. Here too, one bomb exploded while the other, the police claimed, was rendered inoperable. One room and the boundary wall of one side were destroyed.
“Two bombs, each of about 12kg, were planted and only one of them exploded while the other was rendered safe by the bomb disposal squad,” SHO of the locality, Granullah said.
Locals said the same school had been destroyed earlier also in 2008 and the building had recently been re-constructed.
In the past five years, many public and private schools have been targeted in the limits of the same police station.
Meanwhile, a private medical clinic was blown up in the Sulaiman Khel area within the jurisdiction of the Badaber Police Station on the outskirts of Peshawar late Saturday night. Police said the clinic is owned by a local doctor named Misal Khan.
The blast completely destroyed the small building and also inflicted damage to adjacent houses.
“One bomb exploded while the other was defused,” said local SHO Abidur Rehman, adding that it was the first incident of a clinic being targeted in his jurisdiction.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 23rd, 2012.
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