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ATTOCK, Dec 10: A suicide bomber detonated an explosive-laden car near a military vehicle carrying children of Pakistan Air Force employees to school on Monday, injuring four children and three other people. The attack took place near the Fauji gate outside the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex in Kamra on the Attock-Kamra road.

It may be mentioned that former prime minister Shaukat Aziz survived a suicide attack in Attock district during his 2004 election campaign. Eight people were killed in the attack.

Security personnel cordoned off the entire area and took the injured to the PAC hospital in Kamra.

Attock District Police Officer Tariq Hanif Joyia told Dawn that the vehicle, a truck converted into a bus, was carrying 19 boys and girls, all aged under 12, to their school when a white car appeared at the Fauji gate at about 7.26am and its driver tried to ram it into the bus. The car exploded a few metres away from the bus.

“The bus driver told us that he had tried his best to avoid a crash on seeing the speeding car rushing toward him,” the police officer said.

He said that four children — Ifran, Shakeel, Sumbul and Maria — and three PAC employees, Niaz (driver), Javed (helper) and Iqbal, were injured.

One of the injured, Javed, was shifted to the Combined Military Hospital in Rawalpindi, because his condition was serious.

The wreckage of the car and parts of the suicide bomber’s body were scattered in a vast area.

He said that police had found a mobile phone in the car and its record was being checked.

AGENCIES ADD: “A terrorist targeted a schoolchildren’s bus. The driver and the guard who were sitting in the front have been seriously injured,” said military spokesman Major-General Waheed Arshad.

“Because of the timely reaction of the driver, the children were saved. Only about six or seven children were injured,” he said, adding the injured children were in stable condition.

’’This barbaric attack shows how cruel the terrorists are,’’ he said.

A separate air force statement said five children and three adults on the bus were wounded in the attack in Kamra, with one of them in serious condition.

It said the bus belonged to the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, the manufacturing division of the PAF.

“The bomber in the car died on the spot,” the statement said.