DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Nine people, including three civilians and six policemen, died in a gun attack targeting a checkpost in Dera Ismail Khan and a subsequent suicide blast at a hospital where the victims of the first attack were shifted.
About 30 others were injured in the incidents, Dl Khan District Police Officer (DPO) Salim Riaz said.
According to the Associated Press, the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed the assault.
The DPO said that at approximately 7:45am on Sunday morning, unidentified gunmen on four motorcycles opened fire on policemen at the Kotla Saidan checkpost in a residential area, martyring two policemen.
Following the gun attack, a suicide blast took place at the hospital where the victims were shifted, the DPO said. The bomber struck at the entrance to the hospital, martyring four policemen and three civilians who were visiting their relatives.
Inayatullah, a local forensics expert, said an alleged female attacker set off 7 kilograms of explosives packed with nails and ball-bearings.
“The female bomber, aged around 28 years, came on foot and blew herself up, martyring two policemen and four civilians and wounding 13 others,” he said. The injured included at least eight policemen and five civilians.
The blast damaged the emergency room and forced it to be shut down, according to a hospital official, who said the wounded were then shifted to a military hospital. The official spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal.
The DPO added that according to an initial probe, the attack appeared premeditated.
The TTP allegedly claimed the attack but did not acknowledge that the bomber was a woman.
The group has launched scores of attacks going back nearly two decades, but almost all of them were carried out by men.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mehmood Khan strongly condemned the incident and said that they shared the grief of the victims’ families.
He said that such terrorist attacks would not dampen their resolve.
“Terrorists do not have any religion,” CM Khan said, adding that no religion allows attacks on innocent individuals.
KP Health Minister Hisham Inamullah Khan also condemned the incident and said that orders had been given to provide the injured with the best treatment. Emergency has been declared in all relevant hospitals.
He said that the sacrifices of the martyrs would not go in vain and very soon terrorism would be defeated.
The military has carried out several major operations in recent years against the TTP and other militant groups in areas along the Pak-Afghan border. The violence has declined, but the militants still make their presence known through occasional attacks, mainly targeting security forces and religious minorities.__Dawn.com