BANNU/PESHAWAR - A remote-controlled bomb targeting police killed two people in district Bannu on Tuesday hours after a cylinder blast near the home of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s information minister in Peshawar hurt seven people.
The remote-controlled bomb planted on a motorcycle exploded at around 1 pm near a police van carrying security personnel outside the main police station. Two passersby - a child, Shahab, and his father Dilnawaz Khan of Tajikhel - died in the blast.
Twenty-one people injured in the explosion were identified as ASI Naheed Khan Khattak, constable Sheraz Khan, constable Arif Khan, driver Hafiz Khan, Syed Nawaz Khan, Raza Khan, Inam Ullah, Mohamamd Ali Shah, Maqsood, Habibullah, Noor Ali Khan, Shaheen, Allah Meer, Inayatuullah, Shahtehmash, Hanifullah, Nasreen Bibi, Fayaz Gul and Ghulam Sarwar.
The injured were shifted to hospital. Police, after the explosion, rushed to the blast site and cordoned off the area and launched a search operation. However, no arrest was made till filing of this report.
Meanwhile, at least seven people including labourers were injured in a cylinder blast near the residence of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar in Pabbi area of Nowshera district on Tuesday.
Sources said the blast occurred when CNG cylinder fitted in excavator exploded with a bang near an under construction house. The area was 500 meter away from the house of provincial Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain. As the labourers started work on the site, gas cylinder exploded and inflicted injuries on seven persons.
After the incident local rescue staff reached the site and started their work. The injured were rushed to District Headquarters Hospital Nowshera while those who were serious were shifted to Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar.
The injured were identified as Asghar, Jihad Gul, Noman, Tufel Zeshan, Naheed Akhtar and Engineer Junaid.
Heavy contingent of police rushed the blast site and cordoned off the area. They also collected evidence from the blast site. Police said it was a gas cylinder blast. As the house of Mian Iftikhar was near the blast site, majority of the people was of the view that provincial minister was targeted again.
In a third blast on Tuesday, a bomb disposal officer was killed on the outskirts of Peshawar while defusing a roadside bomb, officials said. Agencies add: The device exploded near a police van carrying six officers outside the main police station in the town of Bannu, district police chief Nisar Ahmed Tanoli told AFP. Tanoli said the Bannu device contained two kilograms of explosives and completely destroyed the police van.
“It was a remote-controlled bomb, planted on a motorbike parked outside the police station,” he said, adding that the blast killed two civilian passersby.
Police constable Mohammad Shiraz told AFP: “We were six people in the van which was on routine patrol in the city. A sudden blast ripped through the van and all of us were wounded.”
Doctor Mahmood Jan at Bannu’s hospital confirmed the death toll and said medics had received 14 wounded.
Hussain, a member of the province’s ruling Awami National Party (ANP) whose son was killed by Taliban militants, was 25 kilometres away in Peshawar at the time of the blast near his home, police said.
The bomb exploded near the house of information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain was hidden in a pile of gravel being used to build a roadside drain, and television footage showed the blast had left a sizeable crater.