SWABI, Oct 23: Fifteen people have been arrested over two bomb attacks on the convoy of Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti on Monday, district police officer Abdul Rashid said on Tuesday.

Mr Rashid told Dawn here that police were interrogating suspects mostly from Swabi and hoped that the culpable people would be arrested ‘very soon’.

He, however, refused to disclose the suspects’ names and native areas.

The first blast occurred on Swabi-Jehangira Road when the chief minister was on the way to Karnal Sher Khan Chowk for the inauguration of Swabi-Mardan and Swabi-Topi roads, while the second blast took place in Shewa Adda area when the chief minister’s convoy was passing through it.

The bombs were planted on motorcycles.

Meanwhile, Awami National Party leaders condemned attacks on the chief minister’s convoy.

In a joint statement issued here, provincial user and zakat minister Zar Shahid Khan said Monday was a day of happiness for locals because the chief minister was to announce a huge development package for them but enemies of peace carried out the cowardly act to spread terror.

Former MNA Haji Rehmanullah lauded the role of the chief minister, saying Mr Hoti despite the attack addressed the public meeting in Swabi grid station and told party leaders and workers that the government backed their efforts and knew their difficulties and sacrifices.

“We are followers of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and stick to his non-violence philosophy. However, it doesn’t mean that we can’t defend our homeland. We are preachers of peace and love peace but no one can browbeat us,” he said.

ANP district general secretary Tamraiz Khan said leaders and parliamentarians in the district denounced the attacks over the chief minister’s convoy and lauded Mr Hoti’s courage.

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