NADER BUNERI AND
ORAKZAI AGENCY/PESHAWAR - At least 14 people of a same family, including three children and women, were killed when a bomb ripped through a van carrying passengers near the border area between Kohat and Orakzai Agency on Wednesday morning.
Sources said an explosive device planted on roadside near Sepoy area of Orakzai Agency hit the vehicle, killing eight people on the spot. However, six others died in a state-run hospital in the nearby city of Kohat.
The dead included three women, two 11-year-old boys and a three-year-old girl. All the victims were part of the same clan.
Local people rushed to the blast site and retrieved the injured and dead from the wreckage of the vehicle. Due to lack of transport facilities and remote proximity of the area, the rescue activities were delayed for half an hour in which most of the injured expired while the rest were taken to the Kohat District Headquarters Hospital.
Senior administrative official Zakir Hussain said it was a remote-controlled bomb planted on the road and was weighing about 10 kilogram. The bomb exploded near a pick-up van carrying passengers, he said.
Those who killed were identified as Nayab Ali, Sajjad Hussain, Lal Saeed, Mohammad Seed, Jafar Hussain, Mushtaq Hussain, Nisar Ali, Sartaj Ali, Syed Hussain, Rehan Ali and Ghazi Hussain. After the attack three suspected Taliban militants exchanged fire with the local people and later they fled.
Doctor Mohammad Naeem of Kohat District Hospital confirmed the toll and said that an 11-year-old boy with serious injuries was transferred to Peshawar for specialist care.
Mohammad Afridi, spokesman for TTP Darra Adam Khel chapter, claimed responsibility for the attack.
Agencies add: “It was a militant attack, the aim was to create panic in the area by killing ordinary people,” senior administration official Zakir Hussain said.
He said that the victims were Shias, but ruled out a sectarian motive because it happened in a Shia-controlled area.
However, a faction of the Tehreek-i-Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.
“We targeted them because they were Shias,” Mohammed Afridi, spokesman for the Darra Adam Khel faction of the Pakistan Taliban told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location.
“This appears to be part of a series of attacks by militants against one particular sect,” said Khushal Khan, a senior government official in Orakzai.
It is to be mentioned here that Orakzai Agency is one of seven tribal agencies where military operation was launched against Taliban militants. However, so far complete normalcy is yet to return.