At least three people were wounded on Friday after an explosive planted in a motorcycle near the central market in the Drazanda area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Dera Ismail Khan went off, officials said.

Yaqoob Khan, the spokesperson of Dera Ismail Khan District Police Officer Abdul Rauf, confirmed the number of injuries to Dawn.com. He said the injured were moved to the District Headquarters Hospital and the condition of one was critical.

“Four shops and three motorcycles in the locality suffered severe damages,” Khan said, adding that a large contingent of police arrived at the scene soon after the blast was reported.

He added that the area had been cordoned off and an investigation was underway.

Immediately after the incident, the KP government ordered a day-long closure of the district’s Gomal University.

“In pursuance of the directives of the Higher Education Department […] the Gomal University will remain closed on February 23, 2024 (Friday),” a notification issued by the institution said.

It added that the Gensam College will also remain shut both today and tomorrow. The notification, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, did not provide a reason for the closure.

In recent years, KP has witnessed a sharp spike in attacks throughout the province, particularly in its southern region, comprising districts Tank, DI Khan, Kohat, North Waziristan, South Waziristan, Bannu, Karak and Lakki Marwat.

Earlier this month, 10 cops were martyred while six were injured in a late-night attack on the Chodwan police station in Dera Ismail Khan.

In December 2023, at least 25 soldiers were martyred and 27 terrorists were killed in three separate incidents in the district. That was the military’s highest single-day death toll from terrorist attacks reported this year.

According to an annual security report issued by the Centre for Research and Security Studies, Pakistan witnessed 1,524 violence-related fatalities and 1,463 injuries from 789 terror attacks and counter-terror operations in 2023 — marking a record six-year high.

KP and Balochistan were the primary centres of violence, accounting for over 90 per cent of all fatalities and 84pc of attacks, including incidents of terrorism and security forces operations.

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