Updates: 11 dead, 80 injured
PESHAWAR: Seven security personnel were among 11 people killed when a suicide bomber rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into ISI’s regional headquarters on the Khyber Road on Friday. At least 80 people were injured.
The bomb attack in Peshawar destroyed the three-storey ISI building and adjoining barracks and damaged offices and houses in a large area.
A police official said the bomber blew up his van at about 6.45am near a security checkpoint at the entrance of Inter-Services Intelligence agency’s building on the highly guarded Artillery Road in the cantonment area.
An official of the bomb disposal unit, Malik Shafqat Mehmud, told Dawn that about 400kgs of explosives mixed with trinitrotoluene had been used in the attack.
According to ISPR, seven military personnel were among 11 people killed when the van was rammed into the military checkpoint.
According to sources, bodies of five security personnel were brought to the Lady Reading Hospital and two who hade suffered serious injuries died there. Five of the 47 injured people in the hospital were in critical condition. Two women and a child were among the injured.
Twenty-nine of the injured were taken to the Combined Military Hospital and six to the Khyber Teaching Hospital.
Those killed in the attack included Syed Adnan Ali Shah, Lal Zeb, Shafi Mohammad, Nimatullah and security guards Suleman Shah and Khan Afzal.
Questions were being asked how the explosive-laden vehicle could enter the sensitive area which had numerous checkpoints manned by armed forces’ personnel.
Security personnel cordoned off the area and did not allow media persons to go near the site of the attack. The Khyber Road was blocked and traffic was diverted to other roads.
An official at the East Cantonment Police Station said the blast had left a deep crater near the building’s main gate.
He said a van or a water tanker might have been used by the bomber, but there was no eyewitness account.
He said the vehicle apparently went to the place from the wrong side of the road. ‘The explosion left a seven-foot deep and 11-foot wide crater,’ a security official said.
He said that security guards had fired at the approaching vehicle but failed to hit the bomber. The roof of a nearby two-storey building collapsed after the blast.
Several people suffered minor injuries from shards of windowpanes in their houses in Falcon Colony on the Warsak Road.
A resident said that at least 30 people in the colony had received minor injuries and almost all the 40 houses had been damaged. Some residents of the colony have moved to other areas.
Shops, offices and swings at the Army Stadium, across the road from the place of the attack, were also damaged.
Windows of the Peshawar Press Club, over 1km away, were also shattered.