Suicide attack in Peshawar kills 13, injures 60
Islamabad | January 29, 2007 9:39:33 AM IST
At least thirteen people, including two senior police officials were killed and another sixty sustained injuries in suicide attack in Peshawar, capital of the Northwestern Frontier Province (NWFP), tonight.
Provincial law minister Malik Zafar Azam confirmed 13 fatalities in the attack that took place almost an hour ahead of the start of a Shiite mourning process in Dhaki Dalgaran Bazar of densely populated Qissa Khuwani area.
He said that majority of those killed and injured in the blast were police and law enforcement officials, who were deployed in the area to provide security cover to the mourning procession.
''Whatever information we have received so far indicates that the attack was targeted against police officials,'' said NWFP Chief Minister Muhammad Akram Durrani, whose six-party Mutahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) rules the conservative province, bordering Afghanistan.
A senior police official Fayyaz Soho told reporters in Peshawar that it was a suicide attack, adding that the bomber blew himself up on reaching close to police officials.
Pakistan's private Geo TV also quoted interior ministry officials as as security officials did not find any crater, which is usually caused by bomb blast.
''Local authorities found leather jacket and body parts including legs of the suspected suicide bomber from site of the attack, which have been sent to a laboratory for DNA test,'' officials said.
Those killed in the blast also included city chief police Malik Muhammad Saad and Deputy Superintendent of police Khan Razzik.
President General Pervez Musharraf and leading politicians including MMA chief Qazi Hussein Ahmad, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and chief of Mutahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) AlTaf Hussain strongly condemned the incident and termed it a cowardly act.
Local officials said that paramilitary troops and reserve police contingent have been called to maintain law and order situation in the province.
This is the second act of terror since yesterday. A suicide attack near parking area of Marriott hotel in Islamabad had killed both the bomber and a security guard.
The bomber had blown himself up after he was stopped by the guard to enter the hotel.
The explosion ripped through Dalragan area despite a high alert, already declared by the provincial government to prevent possible acts of terror in NWFP during the ongoing month of Muharram (Ashura).
Hundreds of people have been killed in suicide attacks and bomb explosions in the country since President General Pervez Musharraf banned six militant and extremist outfits in January 2002 almost a year after joining the U.S.-led international war against terror.
The latest incident came a week after Special Investigations Group (SIG) of the Federal Investigations Agency (FIA) sounded a warning that sectarian terrorist networks might launch fresh terror strikes during Muharram all over the country.
The SIG report said that the risk of such strikes was the highest in the NWFP followed by Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan.
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