A high-ranking police official was killed, while four people were injured, in a suicide attack on his vehicle in Peshawar on Thursday.
Superintendent of Police (SP)-Rural Abul Kalam Khan was killed and four people, including his gunman and driver, sustained injuries when the bomber hit his vehicle at Pishtakhara Chowk on Ring Road.
The suicide bomber targeted the vehicle in which Khan was travelling while he was on a routine patrol, Deputy Superintendent of Police Rahim Shah told The Express Tribune. “I rushed to the site as soon as I heard the blast. The bomber had struck the side of the car where Khan was seated,” he said.
So far, no one has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Initial investigations revealed that the bomber was on foot and had hid behind a tree. Senior Superintendent of Police Investigation Omar Riaz told The Express Tribune that it seemed the attackers had planned their strategy carefully and knew Khan’s exact routine. He added that there might have been a speed breaker where the police vehicle had to slow down.
District Coordination Officer (DCO) Sairaj Khan confirmed that it was a suicide attack and said that there were about six kilogrammes of explosives used to carry it out.
An official of the Bomb Disposal Squad told The Express Tribune that body parts of the suicide bomber had been recovered from the explosion site and that further investigations were under way.
Sources from the hospital said that three of the injured who were shifted to Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC) were identified as Basher, Liaquat and Hidayat, while another two injured, Zeeshan and Johar were brought to the Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH).
Two of the injured travelling with Khan sustained serious injuries.
Khan was serving as the SP for rural areas of Peshawar and had been a part of many operations against militants, at a time when areas of Peshawar close to the tribal belt had once again become a breeding ground for militants.
Senior Minister Bashir Bilour, Information Minister Mian Iftikhar, IGP Akbar Khan Hoti and District Coordination Officer Siraj Ahmed Khan visited the site of the attack and paid tribute to Kalam Khan.
“Kalam Khan was a brave police officer and the prevailing law and order situation is directly connected to the situation in the adjacent tribal belt and neighbouring Afghanistan,” Bilour told the media.
Funeral prayers for Kalam Khan were offered in the Malik Saad Shaheed Police Lines and attended by high ranking police officials and government dignitaries including K-P Chief Minister Ameer Haider Hoti.
Hoti condemned the attack and said Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa was in a warlike situation. He said the terrorists had failed to fulfil their evil designs because of the foolproof security, and were now targeting police officials.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 16th, 2012.