13 labourers killed in late night roadside blast in North Waziristan: official

Published August 20, 2023
Police officials seen in North Waziristan on Sunday where the blast took place.—Photo by author
Police officials seen in North Waziristan on Sunday where the blast took place.—Photo by author

13 labourers were killed and two sustained injuries in a late night explosion in the Shawal area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s North Waziristan district, a police official said on Sunday.

North Waziristan District Police Officer Naik Muhammad confirmed the death toll to Dawn.com and said the incident took place in Shawal, near the Pak-Afghan border. The van in which the labourers were travelling was completely destroyed by the blast, he added.

The incident took place on Saturday night when over a dozen labourers were heading to South Waziristan from the Shawal area of North Waz­ir­istan in a vehicle, Inspector Abrar had told Dawn.

Police officials had said the private vehicle carrying the labourers hit a landmine in the Gull Meer Kor areas. Soon after the incident, sources had said, the injured, as well as the bodies of the deceased, were shifted to the hospital.

According to local leader Yar Gul, terrorists had planted a bomb along the roadside to target a convoy of security forces. Elders of the area said the bomb exploded as soon as the security forces convoy had passed by.

Among the labourers, 11 labourers hailing from the Mehsud tribe belong to the Spin Kamar area of the district while the other two belong to South Waziristan’s Lower Ahmedzai Wazir area.

In view of security concerns, all mobile services have been suspended in the area.

Soon after the blast, Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar said it was heartbreaking to know about the terrorist attack in North Waziristan which claimed the lives of innocent labourers. “Strongly condemn this senseless act of violence and stand in solidarity with the families affected.”

On August 12, two people were killed in what police described were targeted attacks in the same district. On August 8, two policemen were among four people killed in separate attacks in the district and Peshawar.

Last month, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police said 665 militant attacks, including 15 suicide bombings, were reported in the province between June 18, 2022, and June 18, 2023.

A report released in July by the think tank Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies said the first half of the current year witnessed a steady and alarming rise in terror and suicide attacks, claiming the lives of 389 people across the country.

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