this is the latest blasts that hit peshawar
peshawar neh jauh la jugak ngan islamabad, tapi still alarming la kan
dah start blast berlambak2 balik neh, seram la jugak kan
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PESHAWAR/TIMERGARA: Grenade and suicide attacks on the US Consulate in Peshawar and on a rally of the Awami National Party in Timergara killed 51 people and injured over 120 others on Monday.
Government and security officials said a squad of at least five suicide bombers armed with rocket-propelled grenades, guns and car bombs struck the outer security parameter of the heavily-guarded US Consulate from the main T-junction connecting the city with the cantonment and the highway to Afghanistan.
Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan has claimed responsibility for the attack.
“It was a well-coordinated and well-planned attack,” a senior intelligence official told Dawn.
The suicide bombers came in a double-cabin pick-up, two intelligence and a senior government officials said. The first bomber walked towards the outer security post and fired from his automatic assault rifle. He later blew himself up near an armoured personnel carrier.
They said that three other bombers followed closely in tow and one of them fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the APC. The RPG exploded with a big bang but missed the target.
“The attackers used Russian-made RPG-7. It is the most effective anti-tank explosive device. Had it hit the APC, it would have dug a hole in it,” a senior official of the Bomb Disposal Squad said.
The officials said that it was not clear whether security guards deployed inside and outside the US Consulate engaged the attackers. But as the three bombers moved forward, the vehicle carrying them exploded, setting off a huge plume of smoke into the sky.
The security officials said they believed that the three bombers had died because of the explosion near the checkpost.
An intelligence official said the forensic evidence suggested that a suicide bomber inside the vehicle had set off the bomb prematurely which killed his three associates. Two of the bombers still had live suicide jackets on them and BDS personnel later untangled wires and prima-cords and defused the bombs.
“Their bodies were badly burnt and beyond recognition. They couldn’t get the time to pull the cords,” the official said.
The explosion left a seven-feet-long and four-feet-wide crater, Sahfqat Malik, head of the DBS, told Dawn. He said that high-quality TNT explosives used in the attack weighed 80-100kg. He said the suicide jackets bore the tell-tale signs of TTP’s involvement, particularly its outfit in the Orakzai tribal region.
The dead included one police constable and two security guards of the Frontier Constabulary. Most of the people killed or wounded were civilians.
No-one inside the consulate was hurt and there was no major damage to the consulate building. The explosions smashed wind-shields of several cars parked inside the consulate.
The three, relatively smaller blasts, were triggered by BDS personnel in order to defuse the explosives, an official said.
He said that an intelligence agency had forewarned the US Consulate of a possible attack. It was not clear whether the consulate had heeded the warning and taken extra security measures, but officials said that senior US diplomats were not in the office at the time of attack.
TTP spokesman Azam Tariq called reporters in Miramshah, the headquarters of North Waziristan, and said the attack was a reaction to military operations and drone attacks in the tribal region. “We will continue attacks on the Americans in Pakistan and Afghanistan,” he added.
Forty-five people were killed and over 100 others injured when a suicide bomber set off explosives strapped to his body at a rally organised by the ANP to celebrate the renaming of NWFP in Timergara, about 170km from Peshawar.
According to eyewitnesses, the bomber in his early 20s blew himself up when a constable tried to stop him from proceeding to the centre-stage of the function.
ANP’s Lower Dir president Haji Bahadar Khan was delivering his speech at the ‘Jashn-i-Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’ rally when the blast took place. Over 500 ANP leaders and activists were attending the celebration.
A journalist and seven policemen were among the injured. They were taken to the DHQ Hospital in Timergara. Thirty-seven critically injured people were later airlifted to Peshawar.
The blast caused panic and fear and security forces cordoned off the area.
People killed in the blast were identified as Mohammad Yunas, Sher Zamin Khan, Azizur Rehman, Ilyas, Sher Rahim, Hayat Mohammad, Ibrar Ahmad, Fazal Rabi, Mohammad Riaz, Rahim Shah, Saeedullah, Sarfaraz, Mehmood Jan, Mohammad Riaz, Bahadar Khan, Nawab Khan, Nisar, Sultan Zeb, Mohammad, Qaisar, Akbar, Ihsanullah, Sarwar Khan, Zahid, Fateh Noor, Salim, Waheed Gul, Farman, Abdul Wahid, Niaz Mohammad, Khan Wali, Hanif, Samiur Rahman, Nazir Khan, Mian Rahim, Abdul Mateen, Mohammad Roz Khan, Mohammad Ali, Iftikhar, Abdullah, Asad Badshah, Noor Ali Shah, Mohammad Khan, Muhtaram Zeb and police constable Rahimul Haq.
Two legs believed to be of the bomber were brought to the hospital.
Karimullah, one of the speakers at the function, told Dawn that Haji Bahadar Khan was delivering his speech when the police constable shouted to warn people about the presence of the suicide bomber. He said that party leaders remained unhurt, but a number of workers had been killed.
The district and hospital administration declared an emergency and sealed all routes leading to the Timergara hospital.
Malakand region DIG Qazi Jamil, Dir Lower DCO Ghulam Mohammad, DPO Mumtaz Zarin and Dir Scouts’ officers visited the hospital.
The DIG told Dawn that the back of militants had been broken and they were now targeting innocent people at public gatherings.
DHQ hospital’s medical superintendent Dr Muhammad Wakil told Dawn that 36 bodies had been brought to the hospital and the number of the injured was over 80.
The injured ANP workers criticised what they called negligence of police and security personnel deployed at the function and termed the incident a security lapse.
A handful of militants are reported to be still active in violence-ravaged Maidan. They blew up two government schools in the area last week.
AFP adds: Police said two car bombs exploded — one at a checkpoint in Peshawar, about 50 metres from the US Consulate, and the other laden with about 100kg of explosives close to the consulate gate, followed by an exchange of fire.
The security barrier near the consulate gate was damaged, and shells from rocket-propelled grenades and hand-grenades were left lying in the area, which was sealed off by police and army, witnesses said.
Although the precise number of assailants was unclear, senior NWFP minister Bashir Ahmad Bilour said two attackers fled during the crossfire.