Landi Kotal: Militants’ attack on Hamza Baba shrine foiled
LANDI KOTAL: The Khasadar Force on Thursday night thwarted an attempt by militants to blow up the shrine of renowned Pashto poet Amir Hamza Khan Shinwari, commonly known as Hamza Baba.
Mohammad Ikram, the caretaker of the shrine, told Dawn that some two dozen armed militants attacked the shrine around midnight with hand grenades, damaging the boundary wall of the shrine and a kiosk outside the building.
“They wanted to scale the boundary wall in order to plant explosive around the shrine but we resisted them till the security forces arrived on our call,” Mr Ikram said. Though the gun battle with the attackers continued for almost 30 minutes, he said, the mausoleum and the library inside the shrine complex remained safe.
However, the militants managed to escape after hurling two hand grenades and planting some explosives along the boundary wall of the compound.
Assistant Political Agent Landi Kotal along with a contingent of Khasadar Force also visited the shrine soon after the attack and assessed the damage to the building.
The Complex was constructed with monetary assistance from the federal government in 2003, some nine year after the death of Hamza Baba.
Literary circles have expressed their deep anguish over the attack and demanded of the local political administration to enhance security at the shrine in order to secure it from any further attacks.