Archive for February 12th, 2010

Twin Islamic bombings devastate Bannu Police Lines by killing 15

February 12, 2010

A motor cyclist carries an official injured by the suspected suicide bombing in Bannu on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010. – Photo by AP.

Twin bombings devastate Bannu killing 15

By Zulfiqar Ali ||Friday, 12 Feb, 2010||Safar 27, 1431

PESHAWAR: Fifteen people, seven policemen among them, were killed and 25 others wounded in Bannu on Thursday evening when two suspected suicide bombs ripped through Police Lines.

District Police Officer Iqbal Marwat received serious injuries in the second attack and was stated to be in critical condition.

The Medical Superintendent of district headquarters hospital, Bannu, Dr Hafeezullah Khan, said that Mr Marwat and two other seriously wounded persons had been shifted to the Combined Military Hospital, Bannu.

He said four bodies kept in the hospital could not be identified.

Official sources said that even as the bodies and the wounded were being evacuated from the scene, the second bomber blew himself up, causing more casualties.

A senior officer told Dawn that roll call was in progress at the Police Lines when the first attacker detonated explosives strapped to his body. Mr Marwat rushed to the scene to oversee the rescue work when the second bomber struck, he added.

However, a source at the office of the Bannu Division Commissioner said that causes of the blasts had yet to be ascertained.

“It will be premature to say whether it was a suicide attack,” he said.

Police and security forces sealed the city adjoining North Waziristan tribal region. Bannu district has been under night-time curfew for the past few months.

The wounded were taken to the city’s district headquarters hospital.

Agencies add:

There were scenes of panic in the hospital as doctors struggled to cope with the number of victims.

Another 25 people were brought in wounded, including two children, and four of the wounded are in a critical condition, he added.

“There were two blasts. The first one was near the gate. The second was a suicide attack. We have confirmed reports it was a suicide attack,” said Sardar Abbas, the city’s senior administrator.

Militants have carried out numerous attacks on security forces over the past several years. On Wednesday, a suicide bomber killed 12 security personnel and seven civilians in the Khyber tribal region near the Afghan border.

A group of militants attacked soldiers leading a rescue team to the site of a crashed military Cobra helicopter in the same district, killing a brigadier and wounding two other officers.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for Thursday’s attacks, which were carried out by attackers on foot, but suspicion is likely to fall on Taliban.

The suicide bombings came amid growing certainty that the militant group’s top commander, Hakimullah Mehsud, died from wounds sustained in a US missile strike in mid-January. Taliban have denied he is dead, but failed to offer proof that he is alive. Right >>Dead Hakimullah Mehsud Khan, the Great Taliban. Pic from Google image.

Pak Brigadier among 22 killed in Khyber militant attack

February 12, 2010

Rescue workers busy in their work after the suicide explosion at Zairdand area in Jamrud. – Photo by APP.

Brigadier among 22 killed in Khyber attack

By Ibrahim Shinwari ||Thursday, 11 Feb, 2010||Safar 27, 1431

LANDI KOTAL: The focus of intense fighting between security forces and Taliban suddenly shifted to Khyber Agency on Wednesday when 15 security personnel, a brigadier and a pilot among them, and seven civilians lost their lives in a gun attack, a suicide bombing and a helicopter crash.

The brigadier was killed and two other officers, a major and a lieutenant, were injured when Taliban insurgents ambushed an army rescue party searching for bodies of the pilot and a gunner of a helicopter gunship which had crashed in the Tirah valley.

Names of the brigadier and the injured major and lieutenant could not be ascertained.

In the suicide attack on a Khasadar patrol vehicle in Jamrud tehsil, 11 Khasadars, a captain and seven civilians were killed and 11 people were injured.

The powerful blast destroyed the vehicle on the main Peshawar-Torkham road near a police checkpoint.

Three other vehicles were heavily damaged by flying shrapnel. The shoes and slippers of the victims were scattered across the blood-spattered road.

Jamrud’s Assistant Political Agent Rehan Khattak confirmed that 11 Khasadar personnel, an officer identified as Captain Salim and seven civilians, three tribal elders among them, had died in the attack.

The army was deployed in Tirah before the invasion of Afghanistan by US-led allied forces.

The valley is a stronghold of local and foreign terrorists and security forces have been trying to flush them out of the area.

The sources said that the army team led by the brigadier was going to the area where the military helicopter gunship had crashed in Nangrosa area because of a technical fault.

Army officer Col Nadeem told Dawn that the helicopter had crashed in Nangrosa locality because of bad weather. It was on a routine surveillance in the area.

Rahat Gul, an official of the Khyber Political Administration, told Dawn that people who died in the suicide bombing included Zarmat Khan, a line officer of Jamrud subdivision.

It is a crowded place because of its proximity with Peshawar’s Karkhano market with a large number of shops dealing in foreign goods.

Local resident Irfan Afridi said he had seen a man running towards the Khasadar vehicle and then he heard a huge blast. The vehicle, with some 15 Khasadar personnel, was on a routine patrol.

Line Officer Zarmat Khan and six other Khasadar personnel died on the spot, said Taimour Khan, another witness.

The injured included journalist Amjad Khan whose condition was said to be stable.

There was no claim of responsibility but Taliban and Al Qaeda-linked insurgents have killed around 3,000 people in bomb attacks across Pakistan since July 2007.

Courtesy : Dawn, APP & Agencies.