Over30 die in suicide attack at Kohat G. T road
A suicide bomber hit a crowded Kacha Pakka market at Kohat G. T road on eve of Jumat-ul-Wida, the last Friday of the Holy month of Ramazan, killing at least 30 people and injuring more than 40 others.
The blast destroyed at least 19 vehicles, 25 shops and a restaurant and nearby buildings. According to eyewitnesses, the suicide bomber reached the spot with a vehicle loaded with explosives and blew himself near a hotel at Hangu Road in Kacha Pakka.
Laborers were among those killed in the suicide blast. They were going home to spend Eid with their loved one. They were working in coalmine at Orakzai agency.
Talking to media men, District Police Officer Kohat Dalawar Khan Bangish said that the suicide bomber rammed his explosive laden vehicle at a market.
On Thursday, six people were wounded when a bomb planted outside a shop exploded in Kohat. The town is about 40 miles (60 kilometers) south of Peshawar.
The ill fated site was a bus stop from where buses got to various areas including Tirah valley where military operation against Amir Lasher-e-Islam Mangal Bagh and his followers.
Police officials and rescue teams reached the spot and dead bodies and injured were shifted to Liaquat Memorial Hospital and Division Hospital where emergency has been imposed while Army’s relief teams have rushed to the scene of incident.
Police had closed Hangu Road for every type of traffic after the explosion. It may be recalled that suicide bombing and explosion fears in key cities of the country were expressed on the eve of Jumatul Wida today.
An injured in the blast said he was sitting in a restaurant when the explosion took place. There was chaos and panic all around. He fell on the ground and the restaurant was filled with smoke. The area was littered with human flesh and glass shards, he said.
DPO Dalawar Khan Bangish said the blast had not left any crater. ‘It was an act of terrorism, apparently a suicide attack. The motive was to spread panic,’ he said.
He said the entire country faced a terrorist threat. According to bomb disposal experts, 150 kilogram of explosives had been used.
There has been a lull in bombings, however, since the reported death on August 5 of Pakistan Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud, and officials say there is intense infighting among the militants over who will succeed him.
Following the explosion, people of the area became furious and suspended traffic by stoning them. The angry mob also pelted stone on DPO vehicle.
The Police have arrested 5 people for creating disturbance in the relief activities, Private TV Channel reported. It may be recalled here the intelligence agencies in their report to home department Nwfp warned terrorist incident ahead of Eid and on the eve of Eid.
Kohat was among the 25 cities who have been declared as sensitive by intelligence agencies, sources said. Over 95 percent area of Malakand is in control of Government and normalcy has been returned in war affected areas. Social activities along with development are gaining momentum in these areas.
Police have carried out search operations in district Kohat many time and several terrorists have also been arrested from there so far, sources maintained.
President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Chief Minister Nwfp Amir Haider Khan Hoti, Quaid PML-N Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister Sindh Qiam Ali Shah and other Government functionaries strongly condemned the suicide attack.
Chief Minister NWFP Amir Haider Khan Hoti while ordering investigation into the incident has also announced Rs. 0.3 million for each deceased and Rs. 0.1 million for each injured. Interior Minister Rehman Malik has also summoned report of suicide attack from Inspector General Nwfp.