PESHAWAR: At least eight persons including five police personnel were killed while another 38 got injured as a result of twin bomb blasts, one of them carried out by a young burqa-clad female bomber in Peshawar on Thursday, breaking a relative lull in militant violence in the country.According to police sources and eyewitness, a remote-controlled bomb, planted in a handcart at the Circular Road near Lahori Gate, went off when a police truck was passing through the area. As a result, six persons including five police officers were killed on the spot and 23 others mostly police personnel got injured.
The second blast occurred after five minutes of the first blast when a 17-year-old female suicide bomber first hurled a hand-grenade and then triggered her explosive-laden jacket near a police check-post in the same locality. The blast resulted in the killing of two persons including an old woman while 16 others got injured, many of them critically. The blast also damaged a rickshaw and a police truck. The second blast created panic amongst the people who had gathered at the site for rescue work. Several nearby shops were also damaged as a result of these blasts.
Soon after the incidents, police force, Rescue 1122 staff and Edhi ambulances rushed to the site for rescue operation to retrieve the dead and injured persons from the blast site. The dead and injured were shifted to Lady Reading Hospital, where they were provided emergency medical treatment.Meanwhile, the bomb disposal squad also defused one hand-grenade and collected evidences from the crime scene.
According to the disposal, around 8-kg explosive was used in the suicide bombing.Agencies add: In the first incident Thursday, a remote-controlled bomb hidden in a handcart on the roadside in Peshawar’s Lahori Gate area tore through a passing police van carrying 20 personnel at 7:10 am. Five police officers and a boy passing by were killed, while 22 people were wounded.
Shattered glass, human flesh, blood and police uniforms littered the area after the bomb, an AFP reporter said.“The police van was carrying 20 policemen,” said Imtiaz Shah, another police official, adding the vehicle was wrecked and that a group of schoolboys had been in the area when the bomb exploded.“A 12-year-old boy has also been killed,” he said.Peshawar police chief Imtiaz Altaf told AFP that officers had killed a suspected Taliban suicide bomber and his handler in an overnight gunbattle at Matani, on the outskirts of the city.An hour later, when police and rescue workers converged on the scene, a teenage female suicide bomber wearing a burqa approached, then was able to partially detonate her suicide vest, said Shafqat Malik, a police officer with the bomb disposal unit. She appeared to be 16 or 17 years old, he said.
“I thought the girl was pregnant as she was walking slowly with another woman. As I tried to push people away, suddenly a blast took place,” said police officer Himayat Ullah, who was wounded in the attack.The explosion also killed the other woman and injured three policemen, Malik added.“The other woman is more than 60 years old. Her face is completely disfigured and beyond identification. Her body has no sign of wearing a suicide vest.
We feel that she was just a passer-by,” Doctor Rahim Afridi told AFP.He said 16 people were admitted with injuries after the second blast.Malik said the first blast was meant to draw a large crowd for the female suicide bomber to attack. “They have adopted this method of targeting rescue teams, the media and police,” he said.It was only the third time police have confirmed a woman suicide attacker in the country where Taliban and Al Qaeda-linked bombers have killed 4,500 people since 2007. – Nation