PESHAWAR: At least two policemen were killed and six others were injured Thursday morning when a suicide blast targeting the vehicle of Deputy Commandant of Frontier Reserve Police (FRP) occurred in Peshawar's Hayatabad area.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Mian Saeed confirmed that the attack was a suicide blast which took place near Deputy Commandant FRP Malik Tariq's vehicle when he was on his way to the FRP office.
“The bomber was on a motorcycle and he rammed it into the vehicle of Malik Tariq who was on his way to the office,” Mian Saeed told reporters at the scene.
Saeed added that it had yet to be determined whether the bomber was wearing a suicide vest or his motorcycle was packed with explosives.
According to hospital sources, the explosion left two policeman dead and six others injured — including two policemen, two passers-by, the driver of the vehicle and Deputy Commandant Malik Tariq. The vehicle was completely destroyed in the blast.
The FRP is an auxiliary force that can be called up to help the regular police in times of need.
Rana Umar Hayat, another senior police official confirmed the attack and casualties and told AFP that Tariq was in a critical condition in a government hospital.
Additional Inspector General of Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) Shafqat Malik said five-six kilogrammes of explosive material was used in the making of the bomb.
The casualties were shifted to Hayatabad Medical Complex in Peshawar.
Rescue teams and security personnel reached the site of attack, and launched an investigation into the blast.
The proscribed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in a statement claimed responsibility for the suicide blast. However, the claim could not be independently verified.
Hayatabad is a posh suburb of Peshawar on the south-western fringe of the city.
Peshawar is the gateway to Pakistan's troubled northwestern tribal region where troops have for years been locked in deadly battles with insurgents.
The Pakistan army began a major campaign against Taliban and other militant strongholds in the North Waziristan tribal area in June last year and authorities have now vowed to intensify operations both in the border regions and across the country.
PM Nawaz condemns attack
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the attack on Deputy Commandant FRP Malik Tariq in Peshawar's Hayatabad area on Thursday (today), a statement from the Prime Minister House.
According to the statement, the premier deplored the loss of lives in the suicide blast and sought a report into the incident. He also directed authorities to apprehend the criminals at the earliest.