Three people were killed on Friday in a suicide attack on a vehicle carrying the head of the Afghan Tanzeem Ahle Hadith, Haji Hayatullah, in Peshawar’s Faqeerabad neighbourhood. Hayatullah himself survived the attack but his gunman and driver were killed.
According to details, Hayatullah had just finished offering his Friday prayers at Darul Uloom-e-Islamia mosque when the attack took place. The suicide bomber had been waiting outside the main gate of the premises. He detonated his vest as soon as Hayatullah’s gunman opened the gate for the religious leader’s vehicle, killing himself, the gunman and the driver.
Hayatullah’s vehicle was also destroyed in the attack. Hayatullah was far from the site of the explosion and escaped unhurt. No other casualties were reported either since most of the people who offered prayers at the mosque had already left the premises.
Deputy Commissioner Javed Marwat confirmed that no one was injured in the attack and only three people were killed. He added that the Afghan religious leader was the intended target.
According to bomb disposal squad officials, around seven kilogrammes of explosives had been used in the suicide vest used in the attack. They added that the vest was also loaded up with ball bearings.
The deceased were shifted to the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH). Talking to The Express Tribune, LRH spokesperson Jamil Shah confirmed they had received three bodies, adding that only one of them had been identified so far.
Talking to The Express Tribune, former Shahi Bagh union council nazim and Jamaat-e-Islami leader Haji Zareen Khan said he offered Friday prayers at the same mosque.
“It is routine for Haji Hayatullah to take his time with prayers … as such nearly all those offering prayers at the mosque had left by the time of the explosion… this prevented further casualties,” he maintained.
Separately, at least four policemen were killed and three other, including District Police Officer (DPO) Kohat Dilawar Bangash, was injured when militant ambushed their vehicles on Indus Highway near Mattani Friday night.
DPO Bangash was on his way to Kohat from Peshawar along with his escort when the convoy was ambushed near the Ghaziabad check post of Mattani on Indus Highway.
Militants were equipped with RPG-7 rockets and they targeted two vehicles in the convoy.
The attack destroyed a vehicle, killing four policemen on the spot and leaving three injured including DPO Bangash and his driver.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 25th, 2013.