PESHAWAR: At least six people were killed and three others injured Saturday when a Pakistani Taliban suicide bomber targeted a local anti-Taliban militia chief in district Buner of northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Fateh Khan, a local leader affiliated with the Awami National Party (ANP), was killed with three of his guards when a suicide bomber targeted his vehicle in Dagar area of Buner. The incident happened near Fateh Khan petrol pump, owned by the leader from Sultanwas village.
“The suicide bomber blown himself up in front of Fateh Khan's vehicle. Three guards boarding the vehicle were also killed in the attack,” district police chief Jehanzeb Khan said.
Khan was one of the key local political leaders and businessmen who had played a major role in setting up a Lashkar (militia) to stop the Swat Taliban from entering Buner before the extremist militant group briefly seized power of the district in 2009. The militants were eventually ousted from the district soon after a peace pact between the government and the Swat Taliban fell apart.
A local police official confirmed that six people had been killed in the blast.
“So far, we can confirm reports of six people being killed in the suicide bombing. The bomber, who was riding a motorcycle, targeted the vehicle of Fateh Khan,” said police station officer Noor Habib.
Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan, speaking to Dawn.com from an undisclosed location, claimed responsibility of the attack, saying they had targeted Fateh Khan for leading armed resistance against the extremist militant group.
However, the spokesman claimed the suicide bomber was sent on foot, contradicting police reports that the bomb was detonated by a man on a motorcycle.