A bomb blast targeting police killed five people and injured over 20 others in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Dera Ismail Khan on Friday, rescue and police officials said.

The bomb exploded close to a police patrol in Dera Ismail Khan city, police official Mohammad Adnan said.

According to him, a vehicle carrying officers of the KP Elite Force was targeted. Adnan added that it was not immediately clear if the incident was the result of a suicide attack or a bomb planted nearby.

Rescue official Aizaz Mehmood said five people were killed and another 21 suffered wounds, but he was not able to provide a break-up of police and civilians.

The injured persons and bodies have been shifted to the District Headquarters Hospital Dera Ismail Khan.

Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar strongly condemned the blast and extended condolences to the grieving families, the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan reported.

The premier instructed relevant authorities to provide the best medical facilities to the injured. He said the war against terrorists would continue until terrorism was completed eradicated in the country.

“Thanks to the sacrifices of the law enforcement agencies, we have been thwarting the evil intentions of terrorists,” the PM added.

Pakistan has witnessed an uptick in terror activities in recent months, especially in KP and Balochistan, after the TTP ended its ceasefire with the government in November last year.

On Oct 31, a policeman was martyred after unknown militants opened fire on a police camp in Dera Ismail Khan. That same day, two soldiers were martyred in an IED blast in South Waziristan district.

In July, as many as 12 soldiers of the Pakistan Army embraced martyrdom in separate military operations in the Zhob and Sui areas of Balochistan.

That was the military’s highest single-day death toll from terrorist attacks reported this year. Before this, 10 personnel were martyred in a ‘fire raid’ in Balochistan’s Kech district in February 2022.

Last month, data compiled by the Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS) said the number of militant attacks in August was the highest tally for monthly strikes in almost nine years.

There were 99 attacks across the country, the highest number in a single month since November 2014, the report had said.

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