PESHAWAR, May 29: A court employee was killed and nine people were injured when a bomb planted in a car exploded outside the Peshawar High Court here on Tuesday morning.

Naib qasid Nihadullah, who had suffered serious injuries, died in the nearby Lady Reading Hospital. The other injured, mostly passersby, were taken to the same hospital.

Police said the blast at about 10:35am damaged eight vehicles, including that of the district nazim.

“A young man parked a white car and hurried towards the high court. A few minutes later, the bomb went off,” said Tilawat Shah, a cold drink vendor whose five-year-old-son Umar also received injuries.Police said the car which had no number plate had been stolen from the West Ridge area of Rawalpindi. The owner of

the car had lodged an FIR on May 24.

Capital City Police chief Abdul Majeed Marwat told Dawn that the perpetrators of the crime had missed their target. “Due to tight security they could not enter the premises of the high court that somewhat lessened the magnitude of the tragedy,” he said.

The blast caused panic in the area and high court proceedings were suspended for some time.

Provincial Information Minister Asif Iqbal Daudzai, who visited the site, said the blast was a repercussion of the flawed foreign policy of the federal government. “Some elements are out to defame the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal government in the province,” he told reporters.

Provincial minister Malik Zafar Azam told reporters that intelligence agencies were preoccupied with other matters and were not finding time to pay attention to blasts that had rocked the city in the recent months.

“The NWFP has 32,000 police personnel whereas the city of Karachi also has 34,000,” adding that inadequate police force posed also a problem in maintaining law and order.

NWFP Governor Ali Mohammad Jan Aurakzai, in a condolence message to victims’ families, condemned the blast and termed it an act of terrorism. Such acts by miscreants, he said, were aimed at creating uncertainty and anarchy in the country.

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