One soldier and a civilian were martyred in yesterday’s suicide blast in North Waziristan district’s Miranshah area, the military’s media affairs wing said on Thursday.
Earlier, security officials told Dawn that a convoy of security forces was on its way from Datta Khel tehsil to Miranshah when the suicide bomber riding a motorbike hit it. Reports at the time suggested three civilians and 14 others, including nine security personnel, were injured in the incident.
However, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) released a statement early on Thursday saying that the suicide blast occurred in the “general area” of Miranshah on Dec 14 (Wednesday).
The deceased soldier was identified as a 30-year-old Havaldar Muhammad Ameer. Moreover, one civilian also embraced martyrdom while nine others were injured, the ISPR said.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif strongly denounced the incident. According to state broadcaster Radio Pakistan, he expressed grief and sorrow over the lives lost in the incident.
“Those carrying out suicide attacks on Muslims cannot be Muslims,” the report quoted him as saying. PM Shehbaz further said terrorists were “playing in the hands of our enemies who want to destabilise Pakistan”.
He expressed the commitment to punish the perpetrators. The premier said the Pakistan’s people and security forces had rendered immense sacrifices to eliminate terrorism, paying tribute to the martyrs for laying down their lives for the country.
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah also condemned the incident and expressed grief over the loss of life.
“We condemn the suicide blast in North Waziristan’s Miranshah area, are saddened by the martyrdom of Havaldar Muhammad Ameer and a civilian,” he tweeted.
The interior minister expressed concern regarding the provincial government over the deteriorating situation of peace in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and vowed action against terrorists.
“We will track down terrorists and defeat their nefarious designs,” he said, adding that the country’s security forces were fully capable of eliminating militants.
On Dec 5, at least five terrorists were killed and a soldier was martyred during an intelligence-based operation in Jhallar Algad area of North Waziristan.
According to the ISPR, troops effectively engaged the location of terrorists during an intense exchange of fire between security forces and terrorists. It added that weapons and ammunition was also recovered from the terrorists.
“The terrorists remained actively involved in terrorist activities against security forces and killing of innocent citizens,” the ISPR said.