A teenage boy was killed and five others, including school children, were injured when a roadside bomb went off on Monday afternoon near a school bus in the Charkha Khel area in the outskirts of Peshawar.
The blast took a rather quiet neighbourhood of the city by storm as panicked residents and parents came to the streets following the explosion. The city is already on high alert due to threats of an attack during Muharram.
Talking to reporters, District Coordination Officer (DCO) Peshawar Siraj Ahmed Khan said that the bomb went off when a school bus was passing through the area. He said that a passerby was killed while three people, including a school girl, and the bus driver were injured. The DCO said it was not clear whether the bus was the target or not, adding that at the time of blast, there were only four to five children in the bus as most other students had been dropped off. Khan also said that an improvised explosive device was used in the explosion. An official of the Bomb Disposal Unit told The Express Tribune that the explosives weighed around six kilogrammes and were detonated with a remote control.
The victims were rushed to the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) in Peshawar. Director Emergency Services at LRH Shiraz Qayyum Afridi told The Express Tribune that a body was brought to the hospital, besides three injured people. Afridi said that the dead person was identified as Farooq, a resident of the same area. Those injured in the attack were discharged from the hospital as none of them was critically hurt, he said.
The mother of the injured children was seen arguing with policemen at the site of the attack for not being able to know about the safety of her child. “If they are safe why don’t you tell us where they are?” she kept asking. The two injured children – a brother and sister – were later identified as Eman and Arsalan.
Superintendent of Cantonment Circle Police Shafiullah Khan told media persons that a case had been registered at the Bana Mani police station.
Meanwhile, gunmen shot dead two men on Monday in district Charsadda, the second double shooting of officers in two days. Taseer Khan, 30, and Derwaish Khan, 43, were ambushed as they were driving to work on a motorcycle, police said. They died instantly. Both brothers worked for the police.
“They had no personal enmity. Both brothers were in uniform and were coming on duty. They died on the spot,” Nisar Khan Marwat, Charsadda District police chief, told AFP.
The officer said the attackers fled the scene after the ambush.
(With additional input from AFP)
Published in The Express Tribune December 14th, 2010.