A police constable was killed while 17 others, including three children, sustained injuries when a suicide bomber in an explosive laden Pajero rammed into the residence of DIG investigation Wazir Khan Nasir here on Thursday morning.
DIG Investigation, DIG Crime Branch Naeem Kakar and their children were among the injured while houses of both top officials were completely destroyed in the powerful blast which took place on Gulistan Road, also known as Police Lines, just adjacent to the Inspector General Balochistan Police Office.
The blast left a police constable, Nasir Khan, dead. Khan was deputed outside the main gate which was crushed by the bomber in the suicide attack. Law enforcement agencies cordoned off the area soon after the blast and preserved the evidence from the crime scene.
“The target was the DIG investigation and it was a suicide attack. The bomber was driving a Pajero and struck into the main gate of the DIG’s residence where he blew himself up. A police constable was killed and 17 people were injured, most of whom were passers-by,” said police official Nisar Kakar.
The injured were shifted to the Civil Hospital for treatment where most of them were referred to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) for specialised treatment.
He said the police had found four mortar shells from the site which did not explode in the blast. The bomb disposal squad defused the mortar shells. “The residences of DIG Investigation and DIG Crime Branch, situated next to it, were completely destroyed while three children belonging to DIG investigation Wazir Khan Nasir and a son of the DIG Crime Branch were injured in the attack,” he said, adding that two of the children received severe wounds in the attack.
A police mobile parked inside the house was completely gutted while eight other vehicles parked nearby were damaged in the blast. The explosion left a three-foot-deep crater inside the house.
The glass panels of two colleges, a high school, several shops and some nearby buildings were shattered due to the impact of the blast while many roofs of the houses situated close to the blast site were left partially damaged.
“The blast took place at around 8:00 AM which is why there was just one casualty reported because the area is usually busy with people,” said a shopkeeper Nadir Khan who suffered minor injuries.
According to the police sources, the attack was targeted at the DIG who had earlier received threats from a banned sectarian organisation.
The identity of the suicide bomber could not be established as police recovered a few human limbs, but were unable to gather the whole body. The body parts were later shifted to the Bolan Medical Complex Hospital, Quetta for an autopsy.
An investigation officer said the initial investigation suggests that the age of the suicide bomber was twenty to twenty-five years.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Home Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani said Wazir Khan Nasir was investigating a case and there was a possibility that the culprits involved in the case had carried out the attack. “The culprits did not achieve their target,” he added.
Governor Zulfiqar Ali Magsi and Chief Minister Nawab Mohammad Aslam Raisani strongly condemned the incident. The provincial government also announced Rs2 million as compensation for the family of the martyred police constable.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 8th, 2011.