SARGODHA, Nov 1: A suicide bomber rammed his motorcycle into a PAF bus, killing seven officers of the Pakistan Air Force and three civilians on the Faisalabad Road on Thursday morning. Twenty-eight people suffered injuries.

The bus was carrying PAF staff from Mushaf Mir Airbase to Kirana Ammunition Depot when the bomber struck the bus at about 6.45a.m.

Five PAF officers and three civilian employees died on the spot and two injured officers died in the Sargodha CMH.

Sources said that 50 PAF personnel and civilians were in the bus which was badly damaged in the attack. The injured were taken to the PAF hospital and CMH. Later, five of them were airlifted to the Rawalpindi CMH.

Limbs of the victims were scattered all around in an area of about 100 yards. The explosion was so loud that it was heard about five to six kilometres away from the site of the blast.

Some of the deceased were identified as Flying Officers Sabir Wali, Mohammad Shoaib, Bilal Elahi, Zeinuddin and Kamran Mushtaq and civilian employees Mohammad Anwar, Mohammad Ilyas and Salamat Maseeh. The names of the two officers who died at the Sargodha CMH could not be ascertained.

The injured who were taken to the Rawalpindi CMH were identified as Flying Officers Babar Ali, Aamer Sharif, Umair Khan Khatak, Bashir Ahmed and Saad Rafi.

A large number of people from the area reached the place and tried to take the injured to hospitals but PAF authorities and personnel of other law-enforcement agencies stopped them and moved the injured to the PAF hospital and the CMH.

The site of the attack was immediately cordoned off by law-enforcement agencies personnel.

DPO Waseem Ahmad Sial and Regional Police Officer Hamid Mukhtar Gondal reached the place along with bomb experts and collected evidence from the site.

PAF security staff did not allow even police high-ups to enter the PAF hospital where a high alert had been declared after the blast. Regional Police officer Chaudhry Hamid Mukhtar Gondal described it as a suicide attack.

Funeral prayers for the victims were offered at Mushaf Mir Airbase in the afternoon.

District Police Officer Waseem Ahmad Khan Sial said that the head of the bomber had been found and appeared to be a local.

It was the second suicide attack in Sargodha. In an attack in the Police Lines area in mid-August, an ASI and two policemen were killed.

AFP ADDS: “It was a suicide attack and the target was the bus which was carrying the air force officials and civilians,” chief military spokesman Major General Waheed Arshad told AFP.

Opinion

Pakhtuns, state and nationalism
Updated 15 Oct 2021

Pakhtuns, state and nationalism

They have lost the most in the ‘war on terror’. Why then is the PM painting Pakhtuns as a nation of holy warriors?
Unity of faith
15 Oct 2021

Unity of faith

There is unity in the apparent diversity of faith traditions.
The people’s page
Updated 15 Oct 2021

The people’s page

Many are disillusioned with the ‘Naya Pakistan’ narrative.
The next 22 months
Updated 14 Oct 2021

The next 22 months

There are at least 11 key challenges which the government will face in the run-up to the next polls.

Editorial

No need for NAB
Updated 15 Oct 2021

No need for NAB

THE National Accountability Bureau has sent instructions to its regional bureaus to stop processing cases that fall...
Forced conversions
Updated 15 Oct 2021

Forced conversions

THE majoritarian view has once again prevailed in the matter of bringing about legislation against forced conversion...
15 Oct 2021

Transgender rights

MEMBERS of the transgender community in the country are often at the receiving end of both their families’ and...
One big mess
14 Oct 2021

One big mess

At its core, the tension is the result of blurring of institutional boundaries witnessed since the PTI government came to power.
Tareen’s admission
Updated 14 Oct 2021

Tareen’s admission

PRIME MINISTER Imran Khan’s estranged friend Jahangir Khan Tareen has finally confirmed what has long been alleged...
14 Oct 2021

Dengue outbreak

DENGUE cases continue to rise at an alarming rate in several cities of KP and Punjab. According to data provided by...