SHABQADAR: A government official in the Federally Administered Tribal Area (Fata) and five of his guards were martyred after the Taliban targeted the vehicle they were travelling in, through a remote control improvised explosive device (IED).
Khar Bajaur Agency’s Assistant Political Agent Muhammad Arif Yusafzai told The Express Tribune, “Tehsildar Fawad Ali’s vehicle was targeted by an IED blast when they were travelling to the Tangi Garigal area of the teshil on Sunday morning.” He added that the tehsildar was travelling to a school where reportedly an IED blast had already taken place.
Ali and six of his Levies guards, identified as Muatabar, Beradar, Jan Muhammad, Yusaf Khan and Rasheed Zaman, were critically injured in the blast. Out of which, five succumbed to their injuries while they were being rushed to the agency headquarters’ hospital.
Meanwhile, Agency’s Headquarter Hospital Khar, in an official statement, said that it had received five bodies, including Ali’s, whereas Zaman succumbed to his injuries in the hospital.
Security forces’ personnel and the political administration cordoned off the area after the blast and a search operation has been launched.
Outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesperson took responsibility of the attack in a message sent to the media.
TTP spokesperson Mohammad Khurassani said the militants had planted an improvised explosive device to target security personnel.
Ali belonged to the Mohmand tribe and hailed from the Katlang Mardan area. He was the son of lawyer Hakeem Said Mohmand.
According to family sources, Shah had completed his Master’s from the Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad and was married six month ago.
Bajaur Agency which borders Afghanistan’s eastern province Kunar has seen many IED blasts of this kind and there have been frequent militant attacks on government officials and pro-government tribal elders after it was cleared of militants by security forces in 2008.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi strongly condemned the loss of precious lives in the attack and prayed for the departed souls.
He also expressed deep grief and condolences for the bereaved families, said a press release issued by the PM office’s media wing.
Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif also strongly condemned the blast and expressed sadness over loss of precious lives.
Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also strongly condemned terrorist attack and urged for the elimination of terrorism through national unity.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan also condemned the Bajaur blast and expressed sorrow over the loss of precious lives and demanded that an investigation be launched over the attack.
(With additional input from Agencies)