Five dead in mortar shell blast in Nowshera

Updated 30 Sep 2020

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POLICE officers inspecting the site of the explosion in Nowshera on Tuesday. — AP
POLICE officers inspecting the site of the explosion in Nowshera on Tuesday. — AP

NOWSHERA: Five people were killed and another one sustained critical injuries when discarded mortar shells exploded at Camp Korona, Akbarpura, near the Kabul River, here on Tuesday.

DPO retired Captain Najam Al Hasnain confirmed the report, saying that a family residing at Camp Korona found about 25 discarded mortar shells packed in five bags along the bank of the Kabul River.

Instead of informing police, the family contacted a kabari (scrap dealer) who along with the family tried to break the shells into pieces for transportation, he said.

When they hit the shells with a hammer, all of a sudden the shells in one of the bags went off with a bang, leaving five people, including the scrap dealer, dead and one injured, he added.

According to eyewitnesses, the blast was so severe that it had left body parts scattered everywhere at the site.

The bodies were brought to Mian Rashid Shaheed Hospital in Pabbi where they were identified as Hidayatullah, Mukarram, Faridullah, Hazratullah and Shafqat.

The injured was identified as Qaiser, a resident of Zakhi Maina. Mukarram was a police constable.

The Nowshera police led by the DPO rushed to the area soon after receiving information about the incident and started collecting evidence from the site.

Meanwhile, a large number of local people took the bodies to Peshawar Motorway, near Akbarpura. They blocked the motorway for traffic for several hours in protest.

They alleged that the police and Rescue 1122 personnel reached the blast site late and that they did not cooperate with them in shifting the bodies to hospital.

Published in Dawn, September 30th, 2020