Seven people were injured on Sunday when militants detonated explosives at a checkpoint on Peshawar’s Ring Road. None of the security personnel manning the checkpoint were hurt – even though up to seven passersby sustained injuries.
Chamkani police station SHO Haji Inayatullah Khan told The Express Tribune that militants packed explosives into a pressure cooker and set them off by remote control.
“The checkpoint has been destroyed, but the four policemen manning it miraculously escaped unhurt,” he said. A vehicle passing by the area was also damaged in the blast.
An eyewitness, Mukamil Shah, told The Express Tribune that he was near the cattle market in his car at the time of the blast. “I was in my car when the explosives went off. There was a deafening sound and then there were clouds of dust everywhere,” he said. “When the dust settled, I saw people lying on the ground and crying for help. The animals also sustained wounds and were slaughtered later.”
The injured were taken to a nearby hospital where the condition of a 70-year-old injured man was reported to be critical. An official of the bomb disposal squad told reporters that five to 12 kilogrammes of explosives were used in the blast.
Tirah Valley clashes
At least four militants were killed and five others injured when clashes erupted between the rival militant groups of Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) and Ansarul Islam in Sanda Pal area of Tirah Valley, Khyber Agency.
Locals claimed that a firefight between the two groups began in the early hours of Sunday when fighters from Ansarul Islam attacked Sanda Pal, a stronghold of Lashkar-e-Islam militants.
Three militants belonging to Ansarul Islam were killed in the exchange of fire between the two groups while four received injuries. One member of the Mangal Bagh-led Lashkar-e-Islam was also killed in the clashes.
According to sources, militants belonging to Ansarul Islam also attacked two other checkposts of LI near Latay Kota and Skarwatay in Tirah Valley but no causalities have been reported yet.
Residents living in the secluded valley have little contact with the outside world. The area has been under the influence of militant factions, including the LI,Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Ansarul Islam, who have consistently targeted each other over territorial disputes and sectarian differences.
At least two security forces personnel were injured in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast on Razmak Road near Miramshah, the administrative headquarters of North Waziristan Agency.
Locals said that a roadside remote controlled bomb exploded while a convoy passed near Thal checkpoint. Helicopters were used to airlift the injured personnel and take them to a hospital. Security officials said that forces defused two other IEDs near Qambar checkpoint.
After the blast, security forces cordoned off the area and began a search operation. The political administration in Miramshah has imposed a curfew in several parts of the agency on Sunday for the safe movement and protection of security forces.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 14th, 2012.
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