SHABQADAR/ PESHAWAR: At least one person was killed and six were injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up, targeting the vehicle of Pakistan Peoples Party – Sherpao (PPP-S) chief Aftab Sherpao after a rally on Saturday.
The suicide bomber blew himself up close to the vehicle of the PPP-S's chief Aftab Sherpao who was accompanied by his son Sikandar Hayat Sherpao and MPA Mohammad Ali Mohmand, District Police Officer (DPO) Nisar Marwat said.
"They were returning from Battagram and when they reached Kangra, the bomber pounced on the vehicle, it seems he was hiding in the bushes close to the road," he added.
Marwat also confirmed that there were two civilians and four police officials who were injured in the blast.
An official of the bomb disposal squad accounted for around six kilograms of explosives and ball bearings, which had been used by the attacker.
Naib Khan, a Tehsil counsellor of the PPP-S told The Express Tribune that he was with the convoy when he saw a man approach the vehicle in which the party's chief was travelling. "A person, almost 22 years of age, started moving towards the vehicle and exploded himself. There was only a thick layer of smoke after that," he recounted.
Six of the injured were brought to the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) in Peshawar. A police official succumbed to his injuries while being shifted to the hospital. He was identified as Shabbir. Hospital sources added that one of the injured brought in was in a serious condition.
"We were bound for Peshawar, when the bomber, who ran from a thicket of trees, jumped over the vehicle and blew himself up," said the security officer of the convoy, he had been shifted to the LRH in an injured condition. He told The Express Tribune. Sikandar Sherpao’s hand was injured.
Sherpao had travelled to Charsadda to attend a gathering to celebrate the induction into the PPP-S of cousins to the political secretary of Chief Minister Ameer Haider Hoti.
This is not the first time that Sherpao or his party workers have been attacked. There have been at least four suicide attacks in as many years, targeting the PPP-S before this.
This is the second attack in less than a week that has targeted a political party in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Earlier, at least five people had killed and 27 others injured when an explosive laden motorbike was detonated close to the venue of an Awami National Party (ANP) public gathering in Nowshera.