Timergara: TNSM leader escapes bomb attack
TIMERGARA: Four policemen were seriously injured when a police van escorting Tehrik Nifaz-i-Shariat Muhammadi (TNSM) chief Maulana Sufi Mohammad was attacked in Midan tehsil of Lower Dir on Monday. Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) of Baitullah Mehsud claimed responsibility for the attack and asked the TNSM chief not to use police escort. TTP’s spokesman Maulvi Umar accused the government of attacking the Taliban in Nowshera, Tank and other areas of the NWFP.
“Sufi Mohammad was not the target. We advise him not to keep police escort,” he told Dawn. He said the Taliban would continue their attacks unless the government stopped action against them. Sources said that the militants had hit the van with a remote-controlled bomb in the Bashegram area of Lower Dir district. Four police personnel, including ASI Mohammad Shah, suffered serious injuries.
They were taken to the district headquarters hospital in Timergara. According to police, Sufi Mohammad narrowly escaped the attack. The government provided police escort to the TNSM chief after his release under a deal.
Meanwhile, the NWFP government and the local Taliban have severely criticised a statement by Prime Minister’s Adviser on Security Rehman Malik that the peace agreement with militants in Swat had been scrapped following attacks on law-enforcement personnel.
“The peace agreement with Maulana Fazlullah is fully intact and I was surprised when I heard the statement,” senior provincial minister Bashir Ahmad Bilour told Dawn. He said that the law and order situation in the violence-hit Swat had improved after the agreement. Our correspondents in Mingora and Bajaur also contributed to this report.