PESHAWAR / QUETTA: Two security personnel were killed in separate bombings after militants targeted the paramilitary Frontier Corps on Monday.
In the first attack, a Taliban suicide bomber riding a motorcycle hit a Frontier Corps vehicle in Peshawar, killing a FC major and wounding 11 others.
A few hours later, an improvised explosive device (IED) struck a checkpoint on the border with Afghanistan in Balochistan’s Chaman town, killing one soldier.
The attack came a day after the army announced it had launched an operation in Rajgal Valley in the Khyber tribal area to rout militants operating in the area and forestall entry of Islamic State from Afghanistan.
The militant group is based in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province that abuts Pakistan and the Khyber tribal area.
ASP Hayatabad Shoaib told The Express Tribune: “The attack took place in Bagh-e-Naran Chowk in the upscale Hayatabad area,” adding, “A Taliban suicide bomber riding a motorcycle hit a Frontier Corps vehicle, killing a FC major.”
A Frontier Corps spokesperson, while confirming the attack, told The Express Tribune: “Major Jamal Sheran was martyred [in the attack],” adding that two injured security personnel were in critical condition.
Major Sheran was posted as Officer Commanding, Special Operation Group.
The attack was claimed by the proscribed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan in a statement released by their spokesperson Muhammad Khurasani.
The vehicle in which the FC men were travelling was completely destroyed in the attack.
Another police official said the bomber targeted the side of the vehicle where the major was seated. “Around 10-12 kilograms of explosives were used by the bomber, who was riding a motorcycle.”
The civilians who were injured in the blast had been taken to the Hayatabad Medical Complex while the FC personnel were taken to the Combined Military Hospital.
“All the injured brought to the hospital have been discharged,” HMC spokesperson Tauheed Zulfiqar said.
Meanwhile, a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relation stated that the funeral of Major Jamal Sheran Shaheed was offered at the Peshawar Garrison.
Major Sheran’s body will be taken to his native town Turbat in Balochistan where he will be laid to rest with full military honour, the statement added.
Corps Commander Peshawar Lt-Gen Nazir Ahmed Butt, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jaghra, Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak, besides military and civil officials attended the funeral.
In Chaman, unknown terrorists had left an IED near Talab check post close to Zero Point at the border.
“An FC soldier, Himmat Khan, detected the IED and tried to remove it from the place when the blast took place, killing him on the spot,” said an official.
After the blast, rescue workers and forces rushed to the spot and cordoned off the area. The deceased was shifted to the Chaman District Hospital for medico-legal formalities and his body was later handed over to his family.
The police had lodged a case against unknown persons as no group had claimed responsibility for the attack.
Last week, Qilla Abdullah’s district police officer Sajid Khan Mohmand was also killed in a suicide hit. The attack, claimed by the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, had taken place while Mohmand was visiting Chaman.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif strongly condemned the suicide attack on a vehicle of the Frontier Corps at Hayatabad, Peshawar, resulting in martyrdom of Major Jamal Sheran.
The premier directed the authorities concerned to hunt down the perpetrators, and the provincial government to provide medical treatment to the injured.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan also condemned the attack and lauded the sacrifices of FC.
The initial report pertaining to the Peshawar suicide blast was also presented to the interior minister. The interior minister prayed for the departed soul and expressed his deep sympathies with the aggrieved family.
According to a statement issued to media by Ministry of Interior investigation into the incident was in progress to ascertain whether it was a suicide attack or not, besides determining who the suicide bomber was and where he came from.
(With additional input from our correspondent in Islamabad)