DIR - As many as four persons, including three of a family, were killed and eight injured in an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in the Doog Darra area of Upper Dir on Saturday.
According to the officials of Sheringal Police Station, the explosion took place early morning at 7:20am. The IED blast targeted a passenger pick-up truck in Doog Darra, leaving three persons dead on the spot, while one injured, Niamatullah, succumbed to his injuries at a hospital.
The victims were the residents of different village in Doog Darra, an area where militants defeated by a local lashkar (militia) in 2010. The lashkar was led by villagers from Hayagay Sharqi, a parish where a mosque was bombed by the militants, and supported by people of 25 other villages.
The attack could be part of the reprisal attacks against the residents. However, the area of Shatkas, where the attack occurred, supported the Taliban militants in 2009 and it appeared strange that they had been targeted.
The militants, who have been launching attacks in these areas from Afghanistan, have attempted to attack lashkar members, but the vehicle attacked on Saturday did not have any of them.
District Police Officer Upper Dir Ehsanullah Khan said 15 to 20 kilogrammes of explosives were used in the bombing.
Those who were killed in the attack were identified as Niamatullah, Said, Hayatullah Khan and Said Alam. The injured were shifted to the District Headquarters Hospital Upper Dir.
Talking to media persons, the injured said the explosion was powerful. Muhammad Zada, who was seated in the second seat of the double-cabin vehicle, said he fell unconscious with the explosion.
“When I recovered, I found myself in thick smoke. I saw the driver and the two occupants of the front seat dead. Injured were around me, twisting and screaming in pain,” he described the scenes following the blast.
“With the blast, I fell unconscious and came to senses on the bed at hospital,” said another injured Muhammad Yar.
Ehsanullah Khan said a search operation had been launched in the area to look for militants, adding that eight suspects were also arrested. He said the incident was being jointly investigated by the security forces and police.