Security personnel inspect the site of a bomb blast in the Bara area of Khyber district, on Thursday.—AFP
Security personnel inspect the site of a bomb blast in the Bara area of Khyber district, on Thursday.—AFP

KHYBER/PESHAWAR: Five policemen embraced martyrdom and 12 people — nine personnel and three civilians — suffered injuries when terrorists attacked an official compound in Bara and a police post near Peshawar within a span of a few hours.

Officials said two suicide bombers were intercepted by policemen at the entrance of the tehsil headquarters complex and police station adjacent to Bara bazaar around 11am on Thursday.

They said police engaged the bombers in a gun battle, which left one of the attackers dead, while the other blew himself up. A portion of the building collapsed owing to the impact of the explosion.

Three policemen were martyred and 10 others, including three civilians, injured.

Talking to the media, DPO Salim Abbasi said police were on high alert after receiving intelligence about a possible attack and worked on a well-coordinated plan which saved the area from huge destruction.

The complex is usually visited by a large number of people, but due to strict security arrangements that were put in place on the basis of intelligence about the possible attack many lives were saved, he added.

Two bombers killed in Khyber, part of office building collapses; militants said to be using night-vision gadgets

Police said a car had been impounded from the site which they believed was used by the attackers to reach the place.

Independent sources in Bara told Dawn that offices of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD), an intelligence agency, and the district administration were also located in the building which came under attack.

Officials of the bomb disposal unit said seven to eight kilograms of explosives were used by the suicide bombers, adding that they had recovered pieces of hand grenades.

They recalled that CTD had killed four members of an alleged extortionist gang and arrested 13 others during separate intelligence-based operations in the Akkakhel area a few days ago. The deceased and the detainees were involved in extortion cases in Peshawar, Khyber and some other parts of the province, they added.

The martyred personnel were identified as Mohammad Tayyeb, Bahadar Sher and Anwar while the injured personnel were Hanif Afridi, Zubair Afridi, Jamil Afridi, Bakht Nawaz, Abdul Hadi, Gul Zeb and Nawaz. Hadi is said to be in critical condition.

All the injured were taken to a military hospital.

Funeral prayers for the martyred were offered at the Police Training Centre Shahkas in Jamrud tehsil of Khyber district.

Earlier on Wednesday night, two police personnel were martyred and two others sustained injuries in an attack on a police post in Regi Model Town — a township located on the outskirts of Peshawar.

The attack took place at around 11.45pm and officials believe the militants were equipped with night-vision gadgets — similar devices which were used in a strike that was carried out in the Sarband area near the provincial capital on January 14. A deputy superintendent of police and two gunmen had lost their lives in that incident.

“Our personnel wore bulletproof jackets and bulletproof helmets and militants opened fire at them at a distance of around 50 metres. Headshots and that too precisely forehead shots were only possible with night-vision sights,” Superintendent of Police Arshad Khan told Dawn.

The SP said militants attacked the police team with US made M-4 rifles and the investigation team had recovered around 21 empty shells from the spot, adding that police retaliated but the militants escaped.

Published in Dawn, July 21st, 2023

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