At least 19 people, including several policemen, were killed and 36 others injured in an explosion after a suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into a police station in Lakki Marwat district on Monday. The Lakki City police station building collapsed after the blast while several houses, offices and a mosque in its vicinity were also damaged.
At least 15 buildings, including the house of the deputy superintendent of police and a veterinary hospital, were severely damaged in the attack. The injured were rushed to Lakki Marwat and Bannu hospitals while many policemen were trapped beneath the rubble of the collapsed police station.
Eyewitnesses said that the lone attacker drove a double cabin pickup and attacked the police station’s back-wall. Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa police chief Fayyaz Ahmed Toru along with Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain visited Lakki Marwat and inspected the site of the attack.
According to the police chief, at least 600 kilogrammes of explosives were used in the bombing. Iftikhar confirmed 19 deaths and put the number of injured at 36 – compared to the police chief’s 15 reported fatalities.
The information minister said that strong action against terrorists had become necessary, adding that militancy may spread across the country if it was not dealt with head on. Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti condemned the attack saying that the security forces will continue to battle terrorism.
Security forces cordoned off the area following the blast and started a search operation, during which around 10 suspects were nabbed, officials said.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 7th, 2010.