ni attack kali kedua kat peshawar lepas kena kat kohat
kali neh siap attack school ngan masa orang ramai tengah rally pasal load shedding
mcm2 la benda berlaku kat bumi pakistan neh kan
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PESHAWAR: At least 23 people, including a deputy superintendent of police and leaders and activists of Jamaat-i-Islami, were killed and 42 others injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a protest demonstration of the party in the city’s historical Qissa Khwani Bazaar on Monday evening.
Earlier in the day, a time-device exploded outside the main gate of Police Public School on Jamrud Road in the busy Board Bazaar, killing a five-year-old student and injuring seven others.
Jamaat’s district naib amir Haji Dost Mohammad Khan, DSP Gulfat Hussain and two constables were among the dead. The party’s provincial general-secretary Shabir Ahmad Khan and district amir Sabir Hussain Awan were injured in the suicide attack.
“The explosion took place soon after Haji Dost Mohammad had offered the concluding prayers at the end of the demonstration against loadshedding and leaders were shaking hands to see off each other,” said Mohammad Shahid, a Jamaat worker.
Rehmatullah Khan, another JI worker who lost his brother Haji Samiuddin in the attack, said that protesters were about to disperse when the blast took place.
Eyewitnesses said the place was littered with human flesh and blood and broken glasses and items of damaged shops strewn all over the place. There were groaning and cries of the injured and wailing of hospital ambulances.
The blast damaged several vehicles and nearby shops. Security forces cordoned off the Qissa Khwani Bazaar and closed link roads.
“We have found the head of the suspected suicide bomber,” said Shafqat Malik, in-charge of the bomb disposal unit. He said he believed the bomber was carrying about 7kg of explosives mixed with ball bearings in his suicide vest.
City police chief Liaqat Ali said the DSP was the bomber’s prime target. After the rally ended, the DSP was about to board his van when the bomber approached him. “The body of the DSP was in a bad shape which showed that he was the target.”
But City Circle SP Imran Kishwar told Dawn that it was a suicide attack carried out by a teenager and the apparent target was the gathering.
A security official said that a suspected suicide bomber who had been arrested three days ago informed investigators that seven of his associates from the Orakzai Agency had been assigned the task of launching attacks in different areas.
The bodies and the injured were taken to the Lady Reading Hospital. Some of the injured JI leaders were later shifted to the party’s Al-Khidmat Hospital.
The LRH chief executive said that 23 bodies and 42 injured had been brought to the hospital. Six of them were in serious condition.
An official of the Khan Raziq police station said that three constables, Imdad Ali, Mohtamim Khan and Zahid, had suffered injuries. Zahid later succumbed to his wounds.
The JUI-F said that three of the injured were its workers. JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman condemned the attack.
Jamaat-i-Islami Naib Amir and former provincial minister Sirajul Haq told reporters in the hospital that the government had failed to protect the lives and property of people. “Rulers have no right to remain in power and they should step down immediately,” he said, adding that his party would soon devise its future course of action.
Former JI provincial minister Hafiz Hashmat accused the American agency Blackwater of carrying out the attack.
Town police DSP Haroon-ur-Rasheed Babar told reporters that the bomb had been planted inside an empty shop on the Jamrud Road. It was detonated at a time when students of junior classes had left the Police Public School and the rest were coming out at about 1.15pm.
He said the device might have been detonated by a cellular phone.
However, an official of the bomb disposal unit said it was a time bomb and was probably put in a school bag or shopping bag because parts of bags had been found at the scene. The explosives, he said, weighed about two to three kilograms.
The blast left a crater, destroyed two motorcars and two shops.
The injured were taken to the Khyber Teaching Hospital. According to a hospital source, five-year-old student Taimur was killed on the spot. The injured students were identified as Aftab, Akhtar Hassan, Muddasir, Fahad, Shakirullah, Junaid, Hassan Raza and Lala Gul.
Police and security personnel cordoned off the area and closed the busy road for traffic.
NWFP Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti condemned the blast and ordered an inquiry into the incident.