Suicide bomber killed four security personnel and injured 10 others in blast near Rawalakot in POK.

Army soldiers rush to a spot of a suicide attack in Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir, June 26, 2009. — AP/File

Four security personnel killed in blast near Rawalakot

Wed, 06 Jan, 2010 | Muharram 19, 1431
 
RAWLA KOT: At least four people were killed and 10 others injured in a blast in Fauji Field Hospital situated in Tarar Khal area of Palandari district of Azad Kashmir, Geo News reported Wednesday.

The blast occurred near a residential barracks of Military Dispensary Hospital at 0650am, injuring at least 14 people, who were rushed to CMH Rawla Kot. However, four of them succumbed to injuries.

The government officials said the blast occurred near a laundry of Tarar Khal military barracks.

The security forces put security cordon around the area after the blast and stopped movement of all kinds.

Azad Kashmir Prime Minister Raja Farooq Hyder, reacting on the blast, said the attack on the Army in Azad Kashmir is unacceptable, adding the attackers are implementing the agenda put up by India.

Raja Farooq Hyder said the attackers are not human beings, instead they are mice, as they hide themselves after their activities; but, we will grab the responsible and will take them to task.

The bombing came a day after President Asif Ali Zardari visited the area — a fault line that has sparked two wars with India and distracted Pakistani attention from an expanding Taliban menace along the Afghan border.

The attacker detonated his explosives outside a barracks in Tarar Khal, southeast of Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

“It was a suicide attack. The target was the army barracks. We have collected evidence and body parts of the attacker which proves that it was a suicide attack,” police official Irfan Masaood Kishvi said.

Sardar Khurshid, another senior police officer in the area, said: “I can confirm that four soldiers were martyred and 11 wounded in the blast.”

Kashmir was split into two in the bloody aftermath of independence from British rule over the subcontinent in 1947. India and Pakistan each control a part of the mountainous land but both claim the region in full.

Wednesday’s attack was the fourth suicide bombing in Pakistan-administered Kashmir since June. On December 27, a bomber killed seven people outside a mosque in Muzaffarabad and analysts warn that the Taliban are extending their reach.

Militants have killed more than 2,890 people across Pakistan since July 2007, until recently concentrating attacks in the northwest, the neighbouring tribal belt and cities rather than the northern mountains and the east.

The elected leader of Pakistan-administered Kashmir, Raja Farooq Haider, condemned the attack in Tarar Khal and blamed Taliban-linked extremists.

“The terrorists have attacked the Pakistan army and the entire Kashmiri nation condemns this attack,” he told AFP, confirming the death toll of four dead and 11 wounded.

“A foreign hand is involved in all these incidents. These people are not coming across the line of control but from our western borders,” he said.

Militants say their campaign, which has become deadlier over the last year, is to avenge military offensives and Pakistan’s unpopular alliance with the United States in the eight-war against the Taliban in neighbouring Afghanistan.

On New Year’s Day, one of Pakistan’s worst bombings killed 101 people at a volleyball match in a key pro-government area of the northwest.

The attacks show militants are trying to maximise pressure on the authorities after an October army operation dislocated the Pakistani Taliban from its stronghold in the tribal district of South Waziristan.

“If they are coming from let’s say, these tribal areas, then perhaps the underlying assumption may be that they want to expand their activities to build a greater pressure,” said security analyst Hasan Askari.

The United States is putting pressure on Pakistan to do more to eliminate Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants along its border with Afghanistan, but the Pakistani military still eyes India as the primary threat to the country.

“The whole focus of the world is on Pakistan. Regional peace is linked with the resolution of the Kashmir dispute and peace can only come if the issue is resolved,” Zardari said Tuesday.

The bulk of Pakistan’s armed forces are based in the east of the country, although tens of thousands of troops have been waging offensives against Taliban strongholds on the Afghan border in recent years.

Relations between India and Pakistan deteriorated drastically after the November 2007 attacks on Mumbai, which New Delhi blamed on Pakistani militants and accused “official agencies” of abetting.

India has accused Pakistan of arming and funding militants waging the insurgency in Kashmir, although Islamabad denies all charges.

Courtesy : Dawn,  AP & Others.

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