Pakistan: Rescue officials put K-P suicide blast death toll at four


BARA: At least four people were martyred on Thursday in a blast at the tehsil compound office in the Bara area of Khyber tribal district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, said rescue officials.

Rescue 1122 officials have so far confirmed the martyrdom of three police officials; at least nine other people, including civilians, were injured.

A critically injured police official succumbed to his injuries while under treatment and another body was recovered from the rubble, said rescue services.

The powerful explosion, which police officials said occurred near the main gate of the compound, caused a part of the building to collapse and heavy machinery was called to the scene to aid in rescue efforts.

A senior police officer said two suicide attackers tried to enter the compound, but “timely action” by security personnel foiled the attack. “Immediate retaliation by personnel killed the attackers,” he added.

“A major attack has been foiled,” said Inspector General (IG) Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Police Akhtar Hayat Khan in a brief statement.

The provincial Bomb Disposal Unit (BDU) stated that two suicide vests were used in the attack and fragments of hand grenades were also recovered from the site. “Around 16kgs of explosives was used by terrorists in the attack,” added BDU officials.

The preliminary investigation revealed that the terrorists arrived at the compound in a white vehicle and tried to gain entry.

The martyred policemen were identified as Tayyab and Noor Bahadur while the injured policemen include: Hanif, Abdul Hadi, Ajmal, Zubair, Nawaz and Gulzeb. The injured civilians were identified as Waris Khan and M. Arshad.

Teams of law enforcers and rescue personnel reached the incident site soon after the explosion. The area was cordoned off and the injured were shifted to nearby medical facilities.

There were also reports of heavy firing in the area after the explosion.

A police spokesperson added that offices of sensitive agencies are located in the area where the explosion took place, adding that after the attack, security teams entered the premises for ‘retaliatory action’.

PM Shehbaz condemns attack

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif strongly condemned the blast and expressed his deep grief and sorrow over the martyrdom of police officials in the attack.

The prime minister directed the relevant authorities to provide the best medical facilities to the injured.

He said the police personnel halted the suspects by risking their lives and foiled the nefarious intentions of the terrorists.

“The personnel of the law enforcing agencies ensure the safety of the people by risking their lives,” he added. He said he, along with the whole nation pay tributes to the brave troops of the Police.

In May, two police personnel were martyred in an exchange of fire with terrorists in Khyber police lines in K-P.

According to the police, the terrorists escaped after other police personnel retaliated. The attack also injured two other police officials. Among the martyred are a deputy superintendent of police (DSP) and a line officer. It was further reported that the injured were shifted to a hospital in Peshawar for medical assistance.

Earlier this year, more than 100 people, many of them policemen, were martyred and a hundred others sustained injuries after a suicide bomber blew himself up at a mosque in Peshawar’s Police Lines during the afternoon prayers.

Officials confirmed that it was a suicide attack and that the bomber was standing in the front row at the time of the explosion. Peshawar Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Muhammad Ijaz Khan confirmed the bomber detonated his vest at the moment hundreds of people had lined up for