NORTH WAZIRISTAN: Three security personnel and as many children have been martyred in the Saturday’s suicide blast in Mirali tehsil of the North Waziristan tribal district, Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement on Sunday.

A suicide bomber had blown himself up near a patrolling vehicle of the army in Eidak village. Initial reports had confirmed the martyrdom of two personnel in the attack.

The ISPR statement said a suicide blast occurred in the vicinity which resulted in the martyrdom of three security personnel and three children.

The martyred soldiers have been identified as Havaldar Zubair Qadir, 33, of Pakpatan, Sepoy Uzair Asfar, 21, of Haripur, and Sepoy Qasim Maqsood, 22, of Multan. Three minors named as Ahmed Hassan, 11, Ahsan, 8, and Anum, 4, have also embraced martyrdom.

The statement said intelligence agencies were investigating to get to know about the suicide bomber and his handlers/facilitators.

The local residents said children were playing near the road in the vicinity when a loud explosion occurred. The injured children were shifted to Tehsil Headquarters Hospital, Mirali, where they were pronounced dead late night.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned the suicide attack and expressed grief over the lives lost.

In a statement, he also paid special tribute to the martyred soldiers, and offered his condolences to the families of the children.

Separately, five people, including a child, were killed when gunmen opened fire on a restaurant in Dandy Derpakhel area near Miramshah on Saturday night. The bodies and a wounded person were shifted to the District Headquarters Hospital, Miramshah.

Published in Dawn, May 16th, 2022

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