PESHAWAR, Sept 28: A senior bomb disposal unit official was killed after the improvised explosive device he was trying to defuse exploded by the roadside in the restive Shaikhan area near Khyber Agency border on Friday.

“He had defused one bomb and was trying to defuse another that a huge blast occurred, leaving Inspector Hukam Khan seriously injured. He breathed his last shortly afterwards,” said an official of Badhber police station.

He said the other BDU officials, who examining the other side of Frontier Road by detectors remained unhurt.

The official said the bomb, which was detonated by remote control, had targeted police, which had defused scores of bombs across the province over a period of time.

He suspected Khyber Agency-based Lashkar-i-Islam militant group led by commander Mangal Bagh could be behind the blast.

“We have registered an FIR against unidentified terrorists as no one has so far claimed responsibility for the attack,” an official of Badbher police said.

In charge of BDU and assistant inspector general of police Shafqat Malik told reporters that the bomb weighed around 10kg.

He said Hukam Khan, a senior expert, was known for reaching the place of the terrorist activity in no time for evidence collection.

Superintendent of Police (in charge of rural circle) Khurshid Khan told Dawn that four explosive devices had been defused in the area the same day. He said police had begun search operation in rural areas and arrested 12 suspects for interrogation.

Mr Khurshid also said after the bomb blast, police had an encounter with militants in the area killing militant Naseer and injuring another.

Mr Hukam, 49, belonged to Pasani village of Mattani area on the outskirts of Peshawar. He joined police as a constable in 1978. His three sons, Akram Khan, Bilal Khan and Adam Khan, also serve in police.

His funeral prayers at the Malik Saad Khan police lines were attended by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Masood Kausar, Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti, senior minister Bashir Bilour, senior police officials and policemen.

Mr Hoti told reporters on the occasion that the second bomb was a booby-trap aimed at police.

He said police had rendered numerous sacrifices fighting terrorism over the years and the IED blast was part of them. The chief minister paid a tribute the slain BDU official for holding excellent service record and protecting thousands of people against terrorism.

Later, Mr Hukam’s body was shifted to his village in Pasani area for burial. —Ali Hazrat Bacha

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