Suicide blast at PML-Q rally in Battagram; 7 dead
MANSEHRA: At least seven people were killed and 26 others injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up when he was stopped by police from entering the venue of a public meeting of the Pakistan Muslim League-Q in Battagram on Monday. Three women and two constables were among the dead.
According to district police chief Ghulam Hussain, the two constables sacrificed their lives and saved hundreds of people who had gathered at the place where PML-Q`s provincial chief Amir Muqam was to address the meeting.
Talking to reporters at the District Headquarters Hospital, he said Mr Muqam appeared to be a target of the attack but he could not reach the place because he had been held up on the Karakoram Highway near Shinkiary.
He said the head and legs of the bomber and a grenade and a pistol had been found. Injured policemen and witnesses said the young man, who looked suspicious, tried to enter the venue and when Constables Mohammad Taib and Hazrat Ali Shah asked him to stop he ignored them and tried to rush towards the dais. When the constables stopped him he blew himself up. Both the policemen died on the spot.
An injured constable told reporters that the bomber detonated the explosives strapped to his body before police could fire at him. DHQ Hospital Medical Superintendent Mehbobur Rehman said an eight-month-old girl was among the injured.
He said six of the injured people had been sent to hospitals in Mansehra and Abbottabad.
AFP adds: Talking to a TV channel, Mr Muqam, a minister without portfolio, said: “We had informed the local administration some time ago and there should have been proper security arrangements. “I`m not satisfied with the arrangements made for the public meeting.”