21 killed in suicide attacks, blasts
KOHAT/BANNU/KALAYA/KARAK, Feb 14: Twenty-one people, including security personnel and militants, were killed and several others injured in suicide attacks on police posts in southern districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and roadside explosions in Orakzai Agency on Thursday.
Eleven people, including three FC personnel, two policemen and one Levies man, were killed as a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden vehicle into a security post in the volatile Hangu district.
Five suicide bombers and a non-combatant were killed in a pre-dawn attack on a police station in Bannu while a police post was partially damaged when police repulsed a militant attack in Karak district.
Four tribesmen were killed in roadside blasts in the Hassanzai Dara area of Orakzai tribal agency.
Sami Paracha reported from Kohat that at least 11 people, including security men, were killed and over 23 injured in a suicide bomb attack on a security checkpost in Spin Thall of Hangu district.
The death toll may rise because more than a dozen people were feared to have been under the wreckage of the checkpost.
Officials said that the victims included two policemen, four civilians and one Levies man. The explosion demolished the security post.
Officials feared that there were dozens of men still buried under the rubble. Darkness and difficult terrain hindered rescue efforts. They said the affected security post was a major checkpoint and a heavy contingent of security personnel was always present there.
A spokesman for the army told Dawn from Thall on telephone that a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden Toyota pick-up into the security post at Kurram Pul, killing 11 people. The post is jointly manned by police, Levies and FC personnel.
The army cordoned off the area and suspended traffic on the Hangu-Parachinar highway. Traffic from Kohat to Hangu was also suspended at Juzara and nobody was being allowed to go to Thall, especially journalists.
Abdul Salam reported from Bannu that five suicide bombers and a non-combatant were killed while two policemen were injured in a pre-dawn attack on a police station in Bannu.
Nisar Ahmed Tanoli, DIG Bannu-Lakki region, told newsmen that five attackers who had strapped explosives to their bodies hit Miryan police station in the Noorarh area, 16km southwest of Bannu bazaar. The attackers also fired rockets and hurled hand-grenades.
An official said the suicide bombers wanted to take control of the police station, but security personnel repulsed the attack and killed all the five attackers.
Eyewitnesses said security personnel who were carrying out a search operation in the nearby Akhundkhel area also rushed to Miryan police station. They cordoned off the area and started a search operation.
Eyewitnesses said the bullet-riddled body of a civilian Amir Khan, son of Hazrat Omar, was recovered from the place. They said the deceased was a student and part-time rickshaw driver.
A security personnel identified as Naek Amjad received injuries during the shootout and was taken to CMH Bannu. The police recovered four Kalashnikovs, chargers and several rounds of cartridges from the scene.
Meanwhile, the outlawed Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack on Miryan police station. The TTP spokesman told newsmen from an undisclosed location that the attack was in reaction to the killing of seven fighters in North Waziristan.
Syed Hassan Mahmood reported from Orakzai Agency that four passengers were killed and 20 others wounded as bombs hit two vans in the Hassanzai Dara area of lower Orakzai Agency.
Sources said the vans were carrying passengers from the Akakhel area of Khyber Agency to Peshawar via Hassanzai, lower
Orakzai Agency, because roads were closed at Bara due to clashes among various militant groups and local tribes.
The first blast took place at 8:45am, followed by another at 11:13am.
The injured were taken to tehsil headquarters hospital in Kalaya, but 15 of them were referred to a hospital in Kohat because of their critical condition.
Sources said people of Malakdin Khel and Zakhakhel tribes travelling in the vans were the targets in the attack.
The Orakzai Levies personnel retrieved the bodies and the injured.
Nasir Iqbal Khattak reported from Karak that militants attacked the Kundi Frontier Reserve Police checkpost in Tehsil Banda Daud Shah late on Wednesday night. No loss of life was reported.
Police said that a group of about 10 militants infiltrated from neighbouring Hangu district and stormed the checkpost. Police at Banda Daud Shah, Terri and Gurguri police stations repulsed the attack.
The building of the police station was partially damaged.
Police said militants left behind a rocket projectile grenade-7 and 10 kg of explosives.
The militants escaped in the darkness of night.
Later the bomb disposal unit defused the RPG-7 and explosives.