A local man suspected of involvement in Thursday’s bomb attack on an eatery in Risalpur, Nowshera district, was killed in a police encounter on Friday, while another is being detained by the police, sources told The Express Tribune.
The deceased was identified as Saddam Hussain, a resident of Badarshi area of Nowshera district. Hussain was in his early twenties, according to reports.
Thursday night’s blast at Decent Restaurant and Fast Food left at least 12 people dead and 14 others injured, many of whom were military personnel.
A police patrol intercepted two men on a motorbike at a checkpoint on the Nowshera-Mardan Road in Risalpur. “The riders resisted the police. One of them managed to flee, while the other, whose identity could not be ascertained, was taken into custody,” a source said.
The police later raided a house in Badarshi area of Nowshera district after finding clues tracing to the arrested suspect. However, the suspect present inside the house was killed in retaliatory fire as he refused to surrender and fired at the police. He also lobbed a grenade at them.
Hussain had a police record of militancy dating back to 2009 and was nominated in an attack on the police at Badarshi Chowk, during which a police constable was also injured.
The arrested suspect has been shifted to an undisclosed location for interrogation, sources said. However, a police official denied having made any arrests in the bomb attack case. “No arrests have been made so far. Investigators are looking into the matter,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hussain’s family staged a protest on Friday and placed his body at Shobra Chowk, blocking off the Grand Trunk Road. Villagers alleged that the police had killed an innocent man and had falsely implicated him in the attack. As the police began baton-charging them, protesters started fleeing, leaving the corpse behind, a witness told The Express Tribune.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 27th, 2011.