PESHAWAR, April 25: At least seven policemen were wounded, two of them seriously, in a series of mysterious blasts inside Gulbahar police station on the main G.T. Road here on Monday, police said. They said that the explosions also destroyed two rooms on the first floor and smashed windowpanes of the entire building.

Capital City Police Officer Liaquat Ali later told media persons that according to preliminary investigation the explosions were caused by gas accumulated in a gutter or electricity short circuiting. However, he dispelled the impression that it was a sabotage act.

He claimed that the affected rooms were sealed at the time of explosions. One of the rooms was being used as a store for electrical gadgets, he said, but did not give details of the gadgets or the extent of damage.

However, another high-ranking police official, pleading anonymity, said that the costly detectors, bomb disposal suits, bomb locators, X-ray machine and other such sensitive items were given for the bomb disposal unit by donor agencies and stored in the room. He claimed that all the bomb disposal suits, valued at Rs4 million a piece, were gutted. The official said that the incident might have happened due to negligence.

An eyewitness, SSP Tauseef Haider, told Dawn that he was sitting in his office on the second floor in the adjacent building of the police station that he heard a huge explosion followed by five other blasts at about 4:30pm. “The fist blast was severe,” he said.

SP Shaukat Raza also gave similar comments, saying that he heard about five blasts, but did not know as to what exactly had happened inside the police station.

A source in the Lady Reading Hospital identified the injured police officials as Jahangir Khan, Mohammad Israil, Nisar Khan, Arif Khan, Feroz Shah, Mohammad Ayaz and Alamzeb Khan.

A spokesman of rescue 1122 services said that the firefighters extinguished the fire within 30 minutes. It was confirmed that no case of the incident was registered by the police station concerned till late in the night.

The blasts also caused severe traffic jam on both sides of the G.T. Road, as one lane of the road was closed for traffic for over one hour.

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