The Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) successfully removed a suicide vest from a would-be suicide bomber in the Khan Lar area in the jurisdiction of Sarband police station Tuesday evening.
“The boy in jeans and shirt looked like a normal teenager, but then the police personnel noted that he was wearing a heavy vest under his shirt,” said ASI Mushtaq of Sarband police.
The teenaged bomber, identified as Bilal, resident of Bar Qamber Khel, Khyber Agency, and his accomplice, Jahangir, resident of Momin Town area of Peshawar, were coming from Bara in Khyber Agency on a motorcycle when they were stopped for routine checking at the Ring Road, ASI Mushtaq said.
“We immediately asked the boy to sit on the ground with raised hands while his friend was shifted to the police station,” he said.
Policemen encircled the bomber making sure he doesn’t make a move till the BDS team arrives, he said.
Jahangir told the police that he was a schoolteacher and Bilal had asked for a lift as he was on his way home to Peshawar, ASI Mushtaq said.
The whole area was cordoned off as the squad tried to remove the suicide vest. Traffic was diverted to alternative routes and Ring Road remained closed for two hours.
AIG Special Branch and head of BDS Shafqat Malik told The Express Tribune that the suicide vest was of at least eight kilogrammes intensity and the other man arrested with him was “without any doubt involved in the entire episode.”
It is worth mentioning here that Khan Lar is adjacent to the Shalober area of Khyber Agency, which is a hub of Lashker-e-Islam militants. Police and Frontier Constabulary have set up joint check posts to block small routes to stop the infiltration of militants from the tribal belt into the settled district.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 21st, 2012.