PESHAWAR, Nov 11: Three people were killed and 20 others injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up at the main gate of the Peshawar Sport Complex during the concluding ceremony of the inter-provincial games on Tuesday.
The blast took place shortly after NWFP Governor Owais Ghani and senior minister Bashir Ahmad Bilour left the venue.
Over 20,000 spectators and 1,000 athletes from all parts of the country, provincial ministers Syed Aqil Shah, Syed Zahir Shah and Mian Iftikhar Hussain were present inside the complex when the bomber struck.
Sources told Dawn that the suspected bomber tried to enter the stadium on his red colour car (Peshawar-7915-Q), but he was not allowed to do so.
He then tried to enter the venue through the VIP exit gate, but failed to do so.
The bomber even failed to hit any of the VIPs due to tough security measures.
Twenty-one injured people, including a police constable and a PTV cameraman, were taken to the Lady Reading Hospital.
According to the hospital sources, the condition of four of them was critical.
Two people were taken to the Khyber Teaching Hospital. One of them was in a critical condition.Provincial Police Officer Malik Naveed told Dawn that they had anticipated attacks by militants and had held six meetings to work out measures to face any eventuality.
The police chief said that limbs of the bomber showed that he was aged between 16 and 20 years old. Two cars were damaged in the explosion.
The explosive weighed between six and eight kilograms. Ball bearing and nuts were strewn all over the place.
Peshawar DPO Sahibzada Anees, who is chairman of the sports committee, told reporters that the incident occurred when a majority of VIPs had left the stadium.
He said that the stadium was packed to capacity and fortunately all of them remained unhurt as the bomber failed to get there.
NWFP Sports Minister Aqil Shah said that most of the spectators and athletes heard no boom because a spectacular display of fireworks was in progress when the bomb went off.
Later, the organisers broke the news to the audience.