UPPER DIR, July 21: Four people, including three members of the same family, died and eight others suffered injuries when a bomb exploded near a pick-up truck in Doog Darra area of Upper Dir on Saturday morning.

According to Sheringal police, three people were killed on the spot and the fourth person died in hospital.

The victims were residents of different villages in Doog Darra, an area where militants were defeated by a lashkar in 2010. The lashkar comprised volunteers from Hayagay Sharqi and 25 other villages.

The militants, who have been launching raids in the area from Afghanistan, have previously attacked lashkar members and a mosque in the area.

However, the pick-up targeted on Saturday did not carry any lashkar member.

Upper Dir DPO Ehsanullah Khan said that 15 to 20 kilograms of explosives were used in the bomb.

Those killed were identified as Naimatullah, Said, Hayatullah Khan and Said Alam.  The injured were taken to the district headquarters hospital.

Mohammad Zada, who was on the vehicle, told Dawn that he fell unconscious when the bomb exploded.

“When I regained consciousness I found myself in thick smoke. I saw the driver and two people sitting on the front seat dead. The injured around me were screaming,” he said.

“I fainted when the bomb exploded and woke up in the hospital,” said another injured, Mohammad Yar.

The DPO said a search operation had been launched in the area, adding that eight suspects had been arrested.

He said the incident was being jointly investigated by security forces and police.

AFP adds: The improvised explosive device “was detonated using a remote controlled device” the DPO said.

“It was a militant act aimed at creating fear among the people in the area,” he said.

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