Mingora: 8 security men killed in bomb attack
MINGORA: Eight security personnel, two paramilitary soldiers among them, were killed and five others injured when a remote-controlled device hit their vehicle near Mingora on Saturday.
Officials said the vehicle, heading to Kabal from Mingora, was carrying salaries for the staff of the Kabal police station. It struck the device at a bridge in Hazara, 17kms northwest of Mingora.
Witnesses said that two sub-inspectors and five constables died in the explosion and Rs1,250,000 was reduced to ashes. The explosion triggered panic in the area and the site was littered with human flesh. Five personnel died on the spot and three in hospital.
They were identified as Amanullah, Hazrat Jamil, Salim, Fayaz, Ghulam Haider, Zulfiqar and Javed Iqbal. One victim could not be identified.
Police and paramilitary soldiers rushed to the area and shifted the wounded personnel to a hospital in Saidu Sharif. Police said that five suspected people had been arrested.
Sources said that two personnel of the Frontier Constabulary were among the dead.
The Hazara bridge linking Mingora with Kabal was blown up a few months ago and militants attacked security forces at the bridge three times last year.
Meanwhile, clashes continued between security forces and militants in Matta, Kabal and Charbagh areas of Swat and both sides used heavy artillery.
One woman was killed in Matta. Sources said that army troops in the adjacent Shangla district had been ordered to move towards the troubled areas in Swat. Army was sent to Shangla last year when militants took over government buildings.
They said the government was likely to ask people to move out of Matta, Kabal and Charbagh in a couple of days. The district administration has already requested the federal government to send one additional brigade to the area.
Security forces pounded militants’ hideouts in the mountainous areas of the district on Friday night and Saturday. Local people said that a shell hit the house of a man in Kharari Chaum, killing his wife and wounding a child.
Militants set on fire a girls’ college in Nawe Kali on Friday night and snatched weapons from watchmen. A girls’ primary school was torched in Manga and a madressah was hit by mortar shell in Bandai. The curfew was relaxed in areas of Mingora and Landakai for 12 hours on Saturday while other parts of the district remained under curfew.
Despite relaxation in curfew bazaars and markets remained closed in Mingora and its surrounding areas. Attendance in educational institutions and offices remained thin.
Witnesses said that people were migrating from Kabal and Matta because of the operation. District Coordination Officer Shaukat Khan said that a relief centre was being set up at a government school in Oudigram to accommodate displaced families and provide them with food and medicines.