A suicide bomber drove his explosives-laden vehicle into a security check post in the North Waziristan tribal region on Saturday evening, killing at least five paramilitary troops and injuring many more.
The Esha check post, situated 12 kilometres east of Miramshah, the headquarters of North Waziristan Agency, was destroyed in the attack, security officials said. Several troops are still trapped under the rubble and rescuers are making efforts to pull them out, the officials said, warning that the casualty figure could rise.
Officially, five fatalities were confirmed. Independent sources, however, claimed that six personnel of the paramilitary Frontier Corps, including Lieutenant Junaid, were killed and more than 20 injured when the bomber rammed a mini oil tanker, rigged with explosives, into the check post.
A local tribesman said that he heard a huge bang and thick smoke billowed from the check post. “The check post was destroyed. The casualty figure could go up,” the tribesman said, adding that a curfew was imposed as troops from Miramshah reached the spot to shift the casualties to hospital. “Twenty-five to 30 security personnel, including FC troops, man the check post daily,” he added.
The injured were driven to a medical unit based in Miranshah Fort – and officials said those with critical wounds would be shifted to the Combined Military Hospital in Peshawar.
The suicide attack came after a long hiatus, although Taliban insurgents have sporadically mounted attacks on security forces with home-made bombs.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 24th, 2013.
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