KARAK/ NOWSHERA/ PESHAWAR/ ISLAMABAD/ CHARSADDA/ MARDAN:
At least nine people were killed and more than 60 injured in a bomb blast on Peshawar’s crowded Arbab Road Monday morning.
Two Afghan consulate officials were among those killed in the blast, the Afghan consul general told The Express Tribune.
The bomb was attached to a motorcycle that had been parked on a service lane near a bus stop, about 10 feet away from where a police mobile was parked.
As a result of the blast, five people were killed on the spot, while dozens, including four policemen, were injured. Two buses packed with passengers were badly damaged in the explosion, while the police mobile was also damaged slightly.
The injured victims were shifted to the nearby hospitals, where four of them succumbed to their injuries, pushing the death toll to nine. Five of them are stated to be in critical condition.
SP Cantt Faisal Kamran told The Express Tribune that four policemen, who were sitting in the mobile vehicle, were also injured but since the mobile was shielded by the buses it was spared the brunt of the explosion. He did however warn that they were expecting more such attacks in the coming days.
Initially, the blast was mistaken to be a suicide attack. However, by evening the BDS team had gathered enough evidence that suggested the bomb was planted on a motorcycle.
AIG Special Branch and head of Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) Shafqat Malik said the mistake was made because they had recovered body pieces from the site of the blast, which they initially assumed belonged to a suicide bomber. “The ill-fated person whose body was found in pieces could have been a passerby, but he wasn’t a suicide bomber,” he explained.
Afghan consulate officials killed
Two of the victims, Idrees Khan and Hilal Ahmad, were employees of the Afghan Commercial Office and Afghan Refugees Office, which is run by the Afghan government and is located on Arbab Road. A spokesperson of the Afghan Embassy in Islamabad, Zardasht Shamus, told The Express Tribune: “Idrees was an employee of the refugee office while Hilal was working for the commercial office. Both were employees of the Afghan government”.
He added that Hilal was the son of Qazi Muhammad Amin Waqad, a member of the Afghan High Peace Council, an outfit tasked with peace negotiations with Taliban in the war torn country.
Afghan Counsul General Syed Muhammad Ibrahim Khel said the two officials had been working in the Afghan consulate in Peshawar and did not have diplomatic status.
Khel said that Hilal and Idrees were headed to their office in the University Town area when the blast occurred.
Afghan embassy spokesperson Shams Zadasht says that Afghan authorities have requested the Pakistani police to share details of their investigations into the attack.
Zardasht told The Express Tribune that he was not sure if the two Afghan consulate employees were the target.
ANP targeted in Charsadda, Mardan
At least one person was killed while 15 others, including Awami National Party workers, were wounded in a blast targeting a convoy of ANP candidate in Charsadda district Monday evening.
DSP Salim Riaz told The Express Tribune said that ANP’s Muhammad Ahmad Khan was leaving his election office when a remote-controlled bomb planted in the middle of the crowded Sardheri Bazaar went off near his vehicle.
Meanwhile, a bomb planted by unidentified militants near the hujra of ANP local leader Haji Khan Daraz, detonated in the Katlang area of Mardan early Monday morning.
While the hujra was partially damaged, no human loss was reported.
Meanwhile, an Awami National Party candidate’s security guard was gunned down by unidentified attackers in the Hakeemabad area of Nowshera district Monday afternoon.
Johar Ali, a private security guard for ANP’s Shahid Khattak, was on duty at the candidate’s home when two masked men on a motorcycle opened fire on him, killing him instantly, police said.
Meanwhile, two candidates in Karak’s NA-15 and PK-14 constituencies - Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Sami (JUI-S) candidate Moulana Shah Abdul Aziz and Malik Qasim Khan – came under attack in separate incidents on Monday. Both escaped unharmed.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 30th, 2013.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ