At least 13 people were killed and 10 others injured on Saturday when three improvised explosive devices (IEDs) went off near the vehicles of security personnel escorting anti-polio teams in Jamrud tehsil of Khyber Agency.
The first explosion took place near a vehicle carrying Khasadar and Levies officials in Khawr area of Jamrud at around 10:40am followed by two more roadside blasts in the same area at around 10:55am.
Jamrud Subdivision Assistant Political Agent (APA) Jehangir Azam Wazir confirmed that the officials were escorting the polio vaccination teams and were patrolling the streets in and around Lashora area when the bombs detonated.
The APA said the first explosion resulted in the immediate death of eight Khasadar officials.
“As heavy contingents of tribesmen and Levies official rushed to the spot for rescue work, two more explosions took place within 100-metre radius, resulting in the death of four more Levies and Khasadar personnel along with two civilians,” he said, adding that 10 other people were also injured in the following blast.
Wazir said following the incidents, he rushed to the spot along with security official Colonel Ijaz while Khasadar and Levies officials encircled the area, launched a search operation and arrested the 20 suspects from the area.
Ali Sher, another political administration official, who went to the spot after the explosions said a polio worker, was also injured in the incident.
“They were loud explosions and created panic among the residents,” said Ali Sher, explaining that a three-foot deep crater appeared in the ground due to the impact of the first explosion.
Ali Sher said the deceased and the injured were taken to Jamrud Civil Hospital from where the critically injured were referred to hospitals in Peshawar. “A Khasadar personnel Muhammad Shafiq succumbed to his injuries on the way to hospital in Peshawar,” he added.
The official said both the vans were completely destroyed by the impact of the explosions while some of the bodies of khasadars were charred and difficult to identify.
Raziq Khan, a student of grade-I, who was on his way to home in Lashora, became the victim of the second explosion and was killed on the spot, the official Ali Sher said.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Akhtar Ali, an eyewitness, said after hearing the sound of the first explosion he rushed to the spot. “I was just 200 yards away when the second explosion occurred followed by the third one directly near a graveyard in the Khawr,” he said.
“I saw mutilated bodies scattered on the ground due to the impact of the explosion,” he said. No militant outfit claimed responsibility for the attacks till the filing of this report.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 2nd, 2014.