PESHAWAR: Twelve people were killed and 28 others sustained injuries when a suicide bomber attacked the convoy of the commandant of Frontier Constabulary (FC) near an army checkpost on the Fakhr-e-Alam Road in Cantonment here on Friday.
Though the commandant of the paramilitary FC, Abdul Majeed Marwat, remained unharmed, his official car was damaged in the powerful blast. “I was going to office when the bomber blew himself up close to my car on the Fakhr-e-Alam Road,” Marwat, a senior officer of the Police Service of Pakistan, told The News.
The police confirmed the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber close to the army checkpost near the Greens Shadi Hall.“This was a suicide attack and the target of the bomber was the commandant FC,” said Station House Officer (SHO) of the East Cantonment Police Station, Arshad Khan.
Three of the dead persons were identified as Alamzeb, a banker from Landi Arbab, a passer-by Hussain and Manzoor Hussain from Mashogagar village.The dead reportedly included three security personnel and two women who were said to be mother and daughter.
The bodies of the fallen soldiers and wounded security personnel were shifted to the nearby Combined Military Hospital.The civilians were taken to the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) where officials said they had received two bodies while six persons succumbed to their injuries there. They said around 20 people were being treated at the LRH.
Some of the injured were identified as Owais Khan, Amir Nisar, Samiullah, Zahir, Muhammad Arshad, Irfanullah, Jahandad, Rahman Saeed and Shah Khalid.
The explosion also damaged several vehicles and smashed windowpanes of the nearby shops and offices. The blast site is hardly 100 metres from the FC headquarters.The office and residence of the corps commander of Peshawar and the Consulate General of the United States are also situated at the same distance from the blast site.
There were some unconfirmed reports that the bomber was carrying a rocket-launcher, but the police authorities didn’t agree. “No evidence was found that the bomber was carrying a rocket launcher,” SHO Arshad Khan said.
Abdul Majeed Marwat, a senior police officer, previously headed the Peshawar Capital City Police when the then capital city police officer Malik Muhammad Saad was killed in a suicide attack in Dhaki Daalgaran near Qissa Khawani on January 27, 2007.
Marwat also headed the investigation wing as the additional inspector general and led different wings and regions of the police force as deputy inspector general.
Former FC Commandant Safwat Ghayur was killed in a suicide attack on his car near the FC headquarters on August 4, 2010. The FC has lost a large number of its men in attacks in Peshawar and other parts of Pakistan, including the tribal areas, during the last few years. Over 80 FC recruits and other men were killed in twin blasts outside the FC training centre in Shabqadar on May 13, 2011.
Our correspondent/agencies add: President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Engineer Shaukatullah, ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan and provincial president of the party Afrasiab Khattak strongly condemned the suicide attack on the FC convoy that claimed 12 lives.
In their separate statements, they said such acts of terrorism could not deter the resolve of the people of Pakistan to eliminate the menace. They prayed that Almighty Allah rest the departed souls in eternal peace and grant courage to the bereaved families to bear the loss with equanimity.