Despite the huge deployment of security forces, police and paramilitary personnel, at least 19 rockets were fired in Hangu district, three in Orakzai and one in Kurram Agency on Muharram 10.
DPO Hangu Mian Saeed, while talking to journalists on Monday, said the rockets were fired from nearby mountains, but they did not hit their targets. “This was done to sabotage the peaceful Muharram processions,” he said, adding that no casualty was reported.
Saeed added that security was on high alert throughout the day. Some clerics were held at his office and were allowed to leave only after the processions ended.
In another incident, unidentified militants fired three rockets at an Ashura procession in Kalaya, headquarters of Lower Orakzai Agency. Another was fired at a procession in Balish Khel, Kurram Agency, which missed its target and hit a wall. Shia elders have demanded the political administration to take action against those responsible.
Chief minister appreciates security efforts
Senior provincial minister Bashir Ahmad Bilour, provincial Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Chief Minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti lauded security efforts on Muharram 9 and 10.
The meeting was held at CM Hoti’s house on Monday, where he appreciated the government and police’s security efforts.
The attacks in DI Khan were strongly condemned by all officials. The CM directed the chief secretary to complete investigations and submit a report.
He also said that Rs0.3 million will be given as monetary compensation to families of the victims and Rs0.1 million to the injured.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 27th, 2012.