Six martyred in attack after president’s motorcade leaves Sibi

Published March 9, 2022
Law enforcement personnel are seen in a hospital where the injured are being treated. — Photo by Ghalib Nihad
Law enforcement personnel are seen in a hospital where the injured are being treated. — Photo by Ghalib Nihad

QUETTA: A suicide bomber struck along the route of President Arif Alvi’s motorcade in Sibi, claiming the lives of six security personnel and leaving 22 others, including 19 law enforcers, wounded on Tuesday.

This is a second major suicide attack in the country within a week, as the deadly assault inside a Peshawar mosque on Friday had claimed 62 lives and injured 189 others.

The suicide bomber blew himself up near a government rest house on Jail Road after the motorcade of President Alvi and other VIPs had passed through the area on their return from the concluding ceremony of the annual Sibi festival held at Sibi Stadium, officials said.

“It was a suicide attack. A man wearing an explosive-laden jacket detonated it close to the personnel who were winding up security arrangements after the departure of all VVIPs,” said DIG Masroor Alam Kolachi of Sibi Range police while talking to Dawn.

The officer said six Frontier Constabulary (FC) personnel lost their lives while 22 others, including some civilians, were wounded.

Soon after the powerful explosion, security forces, including police and Levies personnel, sealed the area while the bodies and the injured were to rushed to district hospital and combined military hospital, Sibi.

“We have received six bodies and over 22 injured at district hospital,” said hospital official Dr Ghulam Sarwar Hashmi. He described the condition of at least six injured as serious and disclosed that they were airlifted to Quetta through a helicopter.

At least five FC personnel identified as Hawaldar Abdul Lateef, Naik Abdul Waheed, Sepoy Aftab, Sepoy Abdul Jalil and Sepoy Habibullah embraced martyrdom while another man remained unidentified.

Among the 22 injured, six of the seven FC personnel were identified as Subaidar Saifullah, Sepoy Samiullah, Sepoy Munawar Hussain, Sepoy Nizakat Ali, Sepoy Sadaqat Ali and Sepoy Abdul Rahim. Twelve police officials also sustained injuries. Four officers among them were identified as Sub-inspector Abdul Rasheed, Sub-inspector Barkat Ali, Sub-inspector Nasarullah and Assistant Sub-inspector Pehalwan.

Sharing details of initial investigation, the Sibi DIG said investigators examined the blast site and collected evidence. Body parts of the suicide bomber were found from the spot, he said.

According to other sources, people were returning from the Sibi festival ceremony after the VIPs’ motorcade passed through the area when the security forces spotted a suspect who was desperate to cross others. As they signalled him to stop, he opened fire at them and also attempted to hurl a hand grenade at them. After the botched attempt, he detonated his explosive laden jacket close to the security personnel.

Published in Dawn, March 9th, 2022

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