At least 26 people were injured on Thursday when a suicide bomber detonated his explosive-laden vest inside Torkham Customs Clearance Office in Landikotal tehsil of Khyber Agency.
Miraj Afridi, the political administration official at Torkham border, said a blast ripped through the main hall of the office at 10:55am when a teenager barged in and blew himself up.
He said it is a crowded place as people and vehicles crossing the border visit the office to seek clearance.
“After the explosion, contingents of Khasadar and Levies officials rushed to the office and shifted the injured to Agency Headquarters Hospital at Landikotal,” he said. The injured – five of whom with severe injuries – were later referred to the Hayatabad Medical Complex.
The border was shut down from 11:00am to 1:00pm following the attack. After two hours, however, security was ramped up and the border was reopened, he said.
He said the identity of the bomber could not be ascertained. “However his body parts have been sent for a DNA test,” he added.
Amjid – a customs agent who was injured in the blast – said he was busy with routine work when a teenager rushed into the hall and detonated his jacket.
“I lost consciousness but when I regained my senses I was in an ambulance that was headed towards Peshawar,” he said.
At the HMC, members of Khyber Students Union, who have arrived to donate blood, staged protest against the hospital administration for not providing even the basic facilities to the victims.
The president of the union, Aimal Afridi, told reporters that due to malfunctioning of x-rays and ultrasound machines, most of the patients were referred to a private clinic.
“The government should provide the basic facilities to the victims and compensate them as they cannot afford the expenses of their treatment,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 22nd, 2013.
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