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RAHIM YAR KHAN/SAHIWAL: Two personnel of the Counter-Terror­ism Department (CTD) of police foiled the attempt of a suicide bomber to apparently target people coming out of a mosque after the Friday prayers in Rahim Yar Khan. However, the two personnel were injured when a man in burqa in the guise of a female beggar blew himself up.

Also on Friday, another official of the CTD was injured in an attack in Sahiwal.

Police sources said that after noticing that a burqa-clad person was approaching the mosque in Rahim Yar Khan’s Shafi Town, the two personnel tried to stop him. But the man blew himself up, injuring the two personnel.

The injured CTD personnel, identified as Qamar Abbasi and Nadeem, were taken to the Sheikh Zayed Medical College Hospital, where doctors said their condition was stable.

Later talking to journalists, the personnel said they had suspicion that the burqa-clad person was not a woman. They said when they tried to stop the man he blew himself up.

DCO Jameel Ahmed Jameel said the alertness of the two personnel had averted loss of lives.

DPO Zeeshan Asgher said that the attacker had apparently come to target acting DSP of CTD Mohammad Ashraf who was present nearby since the CTD office was in the same vicinity.

The sources said a special team was coming from Bahawalpur to investigate the attack.

According to city’s DSP Maqsood Ahmed Gujjar, the attacker was waiting for the CTD officials in the guise of a beggar.

Personnel of Rangers and police cordoned off the area after the blast.

The CTD is leading civilian departments in Punjab in the fight against terrorism under the National Action Plan.

In Sahiwal, a district officer of the CTD and his driver were injured when two men opened fire on them early in the morning.

Asif Mirza was going to his office in the official vehicle when it came under attack.

Sources said that when Mr Mirza left his home two men on a motorcycle followed his vehicle. When the vehicle was passing through an area between Shadab Town and Pakpattan Chowk, the two men intercepted it. They opened fire on the vehicle and fled.

Mr Mirza received a bullet in his jaw while the driver, identified as Saeed, in his shoulder.

They were taken to the district headquarters hospital, where doctors said Mr Mirza would have to be shifted to a hospital in Lahore.

SP (Investigation) Shakir Ahmed told Dawn that it appeared to be a case of targeted attack. However, he added, police were seeing it from multiple angles.

Published in Dawn December 31st, 2016