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Death toll in Peshawar grid station attack rises to eight

April 02, 2013

Photoes from both outside and inside the grid station in Peshawar shows the extent of the damage from the attack by militants Tuesday, April 2, 2013.—Photo by Zahir Shah Sherazi

PESHAWAR: At least eight bodies of policemen and Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) officials were found in fields near Budh Berh’s Sheikh Muhammadi area after a militant attack on a grid station on Tuesday.

Police said the dead included five Wapda employees, including an SDO, and three community police personnel who were on guard duty on the outskirts of Peshawar.

During the attack, the assailants fired seven rockets at a 500 kilowatt grid station in Sheikh Muhammadi, causing it to catch fire, according to officials.

The grid station was completely destroyed in the incident.

Station House Officer of Budh Berh police station, Granullah, told Dawn.com that six vehicles of Wapda, control room and official records were also damaged in the attack.

An official of the bomb disposal squad, Abdul Haq, said 14 bombs of five kilograms each had been planted to blow up the offices and the grid station.

“Thirteen bombs exploded while one was defused by the bomb disposal unit,” he said.

He said there were also signs of rocket attacks inside the grid station and that the machinery was blown up with the rocket fire.

Granullah said that bodies of Wapda employees had been recovered from the spot while three bodies of community police personnel had also been recovered.

Wajahat, a local native of the area told Dawn.com that the cops and the Wapda officials were brutally tortured by the militants.

“We saw that some of the people were first thrashed with axes and then their bodies were badly broken into pieces, after which they were shot to death many times.”

Four Wapda officials are still missing and the search is on for them, he added.

The reporting officer at Budh Berh police station, Irfan Gul, said the police had information that at least seven bodies had been found in the fields after last night’s attack. He added that the police was searching for five other missing personnel.

Soon after the attack, electricity went off and the area plunged into darkness, spreading fear among residents. Police had cordoned off the area and started an investigation.

Wapda officials have announced province-wide protests against the incident as well as the closure of Wapda’s provincial offices and a halt in operations.