10 die, 90 injured in terror attack
At least 10 people were killed while 90 sustained serious injuries in a suicide bomb blast here at Fowara Chowk of Saddar area, near to CMH some 5 hours ago when a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-filled vehicle with a Police station in Bannu, killing at least six people and injuring around 63 others.
The death toll is likely to rise as five of injured are said to be in critical condition. A suicide bomber pulled out from an explosive-laden vehicle at parking area of Cantonment Plaza at Fowara Chowk, Saddar Bazaar of Peshawar, and blew himself up, killing 10 people and injuring 90.
Besides damaging front of three buildings, the blast completely destroyed 80 vehicles, which were also parked at the parking site outside the local marriage hall and military bank.
The blast in which according to AIG bomb disposal squad Shafqat Malik 100 Kilogram of explosive material were used has carved a 6-foot deep and 2-foot wide Pit on the attack site.
AIG bomb Disposal Squad Shafqat Malik told media men the suicide bomber first hurdled hand grenade but it did not exploded and after failure he blew himself up before reaching the target.
Police sources say the actual target of suicide bomber was military bank. The bomb disposal squad defused the grenade.
A large number of People were present at the site at time of suicide attack. The blast was heard in several kilometers area, locals said.
The people joined the Police and rescue workers to shift the injured to hospital. The injured were taken to lady reading hospital and District headquarters hospital.
No group claimed responsibility for the attack. But the Chief City Police Officer Liaquat Ali Khan blamed the attack on elements in the tribal regions.
He said it was no a security lapse and Police Personnel and law enforcement agencies are trying their level best to stop such activities.
It could be the reaction of security forces operation in tribal areas and Swat against militants, he said, adding that, we would be able to dismantle network of terrorists soon.
Sources said some multinational banks and offices at the ill-fated site received threats, warning them to stop entry of women in their offices otherwise get ready to face dire consequence.
Emergency was declared in the district headquarters hospital and a large number of people rushed to the hospital to donate blood. 50 injured were shifted to CMH hospital, 15 to lady reaching hospital and other to District headquarters hospital.
The doctors and hospital staff were facing problems to treats many injured, relatives of the injured said. Women and children were among the injured, doctors said.
The security forces besieged the whole area after the incident. Police have also arrested 3 suspected including a foreigner who was making a movie of whole incident in a suspicious way.
President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani condemned the attack and sent condolence messages to the bereaved families. Police have also started search operation in nearby building.
Zardari, who is in New York to attend the U.N. General Assembly session, directed the authorities to hold immediate inquiry into the incident. Zardari said in his General Assembly speech that Pakistan is winning war against terrorism.
Provincial Chief Minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti ordered inquiry and said the people behind the brutal attack will not be spared. He also announced Rs. 0.3 million for each deceased and Rs. 0.1 million for each injured.
Federal Interior Minister also condemned the attack and sough report from Inspector General of Police Nwfp.
Quaid PML-N Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, Acting President Farooq H. Niak, Speaker National Assembly Dr. Fehmida Mirza,, Federal ministers, Chief Minister of Sindh Qiam Ali Shah, Punjab Chief Minister of Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister of Balochistan Nawab Aslam Raisani, Ameer Jamaat-e-Islami Syed Munawar Hussain, Head Awami Muslim League Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed, Federal Defense Minister Ch. Ahmed Mukthar, Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik and others condemned the blast in strongest term.
NWFP Information Minister Mian Iftikhar has urged the need of operations in Waziristan, Dera Adam Khail, Bannu, and Hangu against terrorists, saying more terrorist attacks cannot be ruled out in future.
Talking to a private TV channel, the NWFP Information Minister said that the suicide blast in the sensitive area of the city a matter of concern and inquiry would be held against responsible persons.
He said that terrorists after eliminated in Malakand now focusing on other areas and effective security measures should be taken, adding the county has no other option but to stop terrorists at any cost. He urged assistance from the world on the emergency basis.
On the other hand, senior NWFP Senior Provincial Minister, Bashir Ahmed Bilour while talking to a private TV channel said that the government would no bow down before terrorists and to fight until logical end of the war.
Talking to a private TV channel, the NWFP minister said that the provincial government would maintain its writ at any cost and termed the blast as the reaction of action in Malakand Division.
Security around the Province has been enhanced and vehicle entering in Province are being checked strictly. It may be recalled here some months ago, multinational hotel was targeted in Peshawar.