Peshawar: Peace committee leader escapes blast
PESHAWAR, April 2: A leader of Badhber Qaumi Lashkar escaped narrowly, however, a motorcar was badly damaged when a powerful roadside explosive went off in Sulemankhel area on the outskirts of Peshawar on Saturday.
A source said that vice-president of the peace body, Mukamil Shah, who is also a leader of Awami National Party, just passed through the area when the blast occurred. He escaped unhurt, he source added.
Another motorcar, passing through the area, was damaged in the blast, he said. The driver identified as Akbar Khan received minor injuries and was shifted to Lady Reading Hospital.
The source said that one week ago Khyber Agency-based militant group Lashkar-i-Islam kidnapped Aftab Khan, the nephew of Mr Shah, and threw his beheaded body on a road in Bara.
The victim, he said, was serving in community police. The militants had left a letter with his body, saying policemen working against Taliban would meet the same fate.
The peace body leader could not be contacted despite repeated efforts.
An official of Bomb Disposal Unit told Dawn that it was an improvised explosive device, which weighed more than five kilograms and packed in a pressure cooker. “We have found splinters of the cooker from the site,” he said.
However, Badhber police station SHO Qadir Khan said that actual target was local police that usually patrolled the area. “The militants had already attacked police on Sulemankhel Road and killed several policemen in the past,” he said.
The SHO said that police had cordoned off the entire area, especially the entry and exit points and started search in the nearby localities to arrest suspected militants. He hoped that the accused would be arrested soon.
On the other hand, SSP Ijaz Ahmed said that main target of the blast was the peace body workers but they luckily escaped unhurt. He said that police had established checkpoints in the suburban areas to check movement of the militants. People would feel a change very soon, he said.
About the progress in investigation in the blast that occurred at Hashtnagri on March 25, he said that the accused charged in the case was still in serious condition and admitted to Lady Reading Hospital.
“Till now we are sure that he (Abdul Wahab) is involved in the blast. He is a student of a local religious seminary,” he said. However, he did not share further details of the investigation.
It is to be mentioned here that militants have started planting explosive devices in roads. According a senior investigation officer, in the past terrorists carried out car bombs, suicide blasts and rocket attacks but planting of such heavy bombs in the roads was a new method.
Referring to the blast, which had occurred at Matani-Adezai Road on March 23 and killed a donkey-cart rider, he said that both the roadside bombs had similar as they had been locally manufactured and packed in pressure cookers.
He said that Darra Adamkhel-based Taliban and Lashkar-i-Islam had joined hands against police and peace bodies. The official revealed that police had information about facilitators of terrorists in the settled areas. He said that proofs were collected in this regard for arrest of the anti-state elements.