Standing at a bus stop dressed up like a “mad man”, a boy aged 17 or 18 years waited as a vehicle approached him. Once the car was close enough, the boy detonated explosives strapped to his chest, killing two policemen, witnesses told The Express Tribune.
The attack occurred at 11:30 am at Bara Banada Chowk in Nowshera when Risalpur SHO Ajmeer Shah was patrolling the area with his gunmen, a police official at the Risalpur police station said.
Shah and his bodyguard Tafrimul Haq died immediately, while another one of his gunmen Shakeel, and two pedestrians, sustained injuries in the attack.
“He came closer to the vehicle and blew himself up, killing the official and his gunman,” the police official said.
The police were able to recover the attacker’s severed legs from the crime scene.
It was a targeted attack, Nowshera District Police Officer (DPO) Mohammad Hussain Khan told The Express Tribune. “It was a suicide attack targeting Ajmeer Shah,” Hussain said, adding that Shah had played a key role in some “big activity” which was why he was targeted. He did not, however, elaborate on what the activity was.
Shah played an important role in killing a senior Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) militant Qari Basit in the area a few months back which is why he was targeted, sources revealed.
Basit was killed in a police encounter in the Akora Khattak area sometime back. Hailing from Kohat, Basit was wanted in many terrorism-related cases, including the killing of three policemen in Peshawar a few months ago, during which two militants managed to escape from police custody.
There were two minor blasts in Peshawar, consecutively, on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday’s attack in Nowshera became the third such incident to terrorise the province.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 29th, 2011.