Dynamite: SSP, DC clear the air on G-B van blast

Say blast was not a militant attack but was triggered by mining explosives


Shabbir Mir October 03, 2014

GILGIT: The blast in a van in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) on Thursday was not a militant attack, confirmed senior police and administration officials on Friday. The official clarification helped quell rumours which raised panic and alarm throughout the region.

On Thursday, at least three people were killed and nine others critically wounded when some explosives blew up a van on the outskirts of Gilgit. The vehicle was heading towards Haramosh Valley and the incident occurred near Alam Bridge, nearly 45 kilometres from Gilgit.

Speaking at a news conference in Gilgit, deputy commissioner (DC) Ajmal Bhatti and Senior SP Ali Zia said an investigation revealed the explosion was triggered by dynamite used for mining and construction.

“A passenger might have left the material near the engine. As a result, it heated up and went off,” said Zia.

According to DC Ajmal Bhatti, at least 450 dynamite rods have been recovered from two bags found in the van. This provides welcome proof that the blast was caused by dynamite, he added.

Bhatti dispelled the impression that a roadside bomb had hit the car. He maintained the use of explosives is common and legal in G-B. They are used to crush rocks and boulders which are subsequently used in the construction of houses and water channels.

The incident occurred a few days after the interior ministry warned the G-B government about possible militant attacks on Karakoram Highway and in G-B before Eidul Azha.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 4th, 2014.

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