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Peshawar remote-controlled, suicide bombings kill 7
Teenage female bomber involved in Lahori Gate attack
By Javed Aziz Khan
PESHAWAR – At least seven people, including five policemen, were killed and 37 others were wounded by a teenage female suicide bomber and a remote-controlled bomb targeting a police van in Lahori Gate August 11.
“The first blast occurred at around 7.13am, when terrorists triggered explosives concealed in a push cart on Circular Road in Lahori Gate when a police van carrying cops of the District Reserve Police was passing through,” Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Operations Peshawar Ijaz Ahmad told Central Asia Online.
Five policemen were killed and 23 others were injured, Arooj Shirazi, a spokeswoman for Rescue 1122, said. Medics took the injured to Lady Reading Hospital.
The blast also destroyed three nearby houses and two vehicles passing by.
2nd bomb hits
About one hour later, a female suicide bomber blew herself up, killing a child and a woman in her mid-50s.
Ijaz, Capital City Police Officer Imtiaz Altaf and SSP Investigation Dr. Waqar, were inspecting the site when the female suicide bomber attacked, Ijaz said.
The female bomber apparently was targeting police officers and civilians at the blast site, but security thwarted her.
The woman first hurled a hand grenade that failed and then blew herself up, Bomb Disposal Unit (BDU) Assistant Inspector General (AIG) Shafqat Malik said.
Medics took the 14 wounded to Lady Reading Hospital.
BDU officers defused the remaining live explosives on the bomber, Malik said, adding that casualties would have been higher if her entire payload had detonated. She was carrying about 8kg of explosives.
Terrorists now send a suicide bomber to kill police officers and rescuers after they respond to earlier blasts, Malik said.
Bomber was young
The bomber seemed to be aged 17-18, and was wearing local clothing, Ijaz said. Her body remained identifiable because “only one-sixth of her explosives went off,” he added.
Authorities are investigating whether the older dead woman was an innocent victim or the bomber’s handler, Ijaz said.
The bombings might be linked to an earlier incident, Ijaz told Central Asia Online. A few hours earlier, police and members of the Adezai Qaumi Lashkar fatally shot a would-be suicide bomber and his handler, he said.
Police identified the would-be bomber as 14-year-old Latif and his handler as Rizwan. A local militant commander was wounded but escaped, police said.
Meanwhile, Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik gave Pride of Performance medals to the Matani and Adezai Qaumi Lashkar’s leaders and a Pakistan Police Medal to Superintendent of Police of Rural Peshawar Kalam Khan for actions against militants in the rural part of the provincial capital.
Condemnation of Ramadan attacks
Those who attack fasting Muslims during Ramadan are neither Muslim nor human, KP Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said. “The people and the forces are firm, and such attacks can never discourage us,” he added.
Use of female suicide bombers is relatively new in Pakistan. In late June, a male-female bomber couple took an entire police station hostage in the Kulachi area of Dera Ismail Khan, killing seven policemen and a civilian. Police killed both bombers.
“The militants are now using females to carry out suicide bombings,” Malik said on state TV. “However, I appreciate the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) police for standing firm against them.”