BUNER: The chief of an anti-Taliban lashkar and four other people were killed in a suicide attack in the Daggar area on Saturday, witnesses said.
The attacker blew himself up close to the vehicle of lashkar chief Fateh Khan near his petrol pump in the Buner district headquarters. Apart from Fateh Khan, his two guards and two health workers were killed and seven people injured in the attack that took place at around 2:30pm.
The attacker, said to be in his late teens, was wearing a traditional cap.
Workers at the filling station and the adjoining heath centre told reporters that the explosion took place when Fateh Khan, who was driving his vehicle, left the station along with his guards.
Security personnel cordoned off the place after the attack and carried out rescue work.
District police chief Jehanzeb Khan said the petrol pump and the health centre and several vehicles were damaged by the impact of the explosion.
The guards killed — Momin Khan and Zultanzeb of Kalabat — belonged to the special police force. The deceased health personnel, Sardar of Hashim Sar Daggar area and Mohammad Salih of Jowar Buner district, worked for the Buner Medical Centre.
The injured were taken to the district headquarters hospital. Two of them were later sent to Peshawar for their serious condition.
Fateh Khan’s funeral will be held on Sunday morning in his hometown.
Said Ahmed Khan, popularly known as Fateh Khan, was a prominent political leader and businessman of the area and he played a key role in setting up the militia to stop Taliban’s entry into Buner from Swat in 2009.
Volunteers of the lashkar clashed with the Taliban in the Pir Baba area but later the militants loyal to cleric Fazlullah of Swat took control of Buner district.
APP adds: President Asif Ali Zardari condemned the attack, expressed grief over the loss of lives and directed the authorities concerned to ensure that the injured received the best treatment.