RAWALPINDI: At least 13 persons were martyred and 24 others injured in the result of suicide attack on security check post in RA Bazar area of Rawalpindi. Six security personnel were also included in the martyred persons. The head of suicide bomber has been recovered from the site of attack. Meanwhile TTP has claimed the responsibility of the attack terming the attack as revenge of Lal Masjid operation.
The blast took place at 7:40 am when people were going to offices. A few eyewitnesses claim a bicycle rider was spotted on the location and some people tried to overpower him before he blew himself up. Police collected parts of suicide bomber including skull and leg. Five to eight kilograms of explosives were used in the blast, sources said. The ball bearings, nuts and bults were used along with high explosive material.
The dead bodies were shifted to the CMH and district hospitals in Rawalpindi while the injured were transported to various medical facilities. Emergency was declared in all the hospitals.
The attack comes a day after Taliban bombing that killed over 27 Pakistani soldiers in Bannu town near North Waziristan.
Superintendent of Police Potohar Town said six army personnel and seven civilians lost their lives in the attack.
Earlier, the top government official in Rawalpindi, Sajid Zafar Dall, said 18 people were wounded in the blast.
“The attack occurred when children were going to school. Our initial assessment is that the bomber was possibly on a bicycle and he then approached the target on foot,” Dall said.
The killed persons include Subedar Tahir, Subedar Abdid Hussain, Hawaldar Ikram, Hawaldar Asghar, Lance Naek Imran, sepy Rashid, sepoy Anwar Ali, Muhammad Siddique, Mubashar Mushtaq, Zubbair Latif, Mustafa, Shahin Badsha, Muhammad Azmat and Muhammad Abid. Three children were also included in the killed persons.
The security forces cordoned off the area and conducted search operation in the area. The forces also collected forensic evidences from the scene. This was the third suicide attack in the same area.
According to a private TV channel the target of the suicide bomber was buildings of GHQ and FC Battalion.
Meanwhile President Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and other political leaders condemned the Rawalpindi suicide attack in which 13 people including six army personnel were martyred.
In their separate messages President Hussain and PM Nawaz Sharif expressed their deep sorrow over the unfortunate incident.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Provincial Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan have also denounced the attack.
MQM Chief Altaf Hussain in his message from London urged the government to urgently decide whether or not to hold dialogues with the Taliban as bomb blasts on daily basis have spread a sense of despair amongst the general public. Hussain urged the people to unite against the enemies of Pakistan.
PTI Chief Imran Khan in his twitter message dubbed the attack as ‘inhuman act.’
“While fed govt still deciding on a counter terror policy, our civilians & soldiers are being martyred in daily acts of terror,” he said in his tweet. Former president Asif Ali Zardari‚ Opposition Leader in National Assembly Syed Khurshid Shah, Amir Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) Maulana Fazalur Rehman, Amir Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (S) Maulana Samiul Haq, Amir Jamaat-e-Islami Syed Munawar Hassan, Jamatud Dawa Amir Professor Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, JI Secretary General Liaquat Baloch have also condemned the attack and expressed sympathy with the bereaved families.
Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Spokesman Shahidullah Shahid claimed Monday’s attack as ‘payback’ for a deadly military raid on the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) in Rawalpindi in 2007.
“It was carried by one of our suicide bombers to take revenge for the Red Mosque massacre,” he told a foreign news agency.