Blast in front of Police Station in Pak; 4 dead, 30 Injured

At least four persons were killed and 30 others injured when a pickup truck loaded with explosives blasted in front of a police station in northwestern Pakistan on Monday in an area that has turned into an epicentre for terrorists to retaliate a recent army offensive.

The huge blast resulted into a large destruction in the town of Badh Ber, badly damaging the station and a close-by mosque and thoroughly ruining many houses and shops.

It may be mentioned that following army offensive in the tribal area of South Waziristan, where al-Qaida and Taliban leaders are supposed to be taking shelter have led militants to launch terror strikes at various places in the country killing more than 300 civilian and security personnel in the last month.

“We have to continue this war against terrorists and have to keep our nerves,” said Mian Iftikhar Hussain, the information minister for North West Frontier Province where Badh Ber is located.

Liaqat Ali Khan, the senior police chief in the main northwestern city of Peshawar said that as the pickup truck approached a check point in front of the police station, police opened fire at it, however, driver was able to detonate his explosives.

“The sound of the blast was very loud, and when I rushed out from my home I saw everything was destroyed here,” Tariq Hasan was quoted as saying by AP Television News. “My house was destroyed by the blast.”

Sahib Gul, a doctor at a hospital in Peshawar where the dead and injured were admitted said that the blast killed four person and injured 30 others.

Some of the wounded included policemen, said Hussain.

Local television footage showed rescue workers searching for survivors amid a tangle of bricks and twisted metal and police examining the deep crater caused by the explosion. The blast killed a horse that was attached to a wooden carriage and injured another nearby.

An explosives expert, Tanvir Ahmed, estimated the pickup truck was carrying about 550 pounds (250 kilograms) of high explosives when it attacked the station, a much larger amount than has been used in many similar bombings carried out in recent weeks.

“This is an obvious reaction to the operation in the tribal areas,” said Sahibzada Anees, a senior government official in the area.

Badh Ber is located some seven miles (12 kilometers) south of Peshawar. The area in and around the city, which borders Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal region, has experienced a wave of attacks since the army launched its South Waziristan offensive in mid-October. More than 50 people have been killed in the area in a little over a week.

Hussain, the information minister, said that the South Waziristan operation has driven many militants out of the tribal region into places near Peshawar, making the area a prime target for attacks.

“Terrorists have spread into our settled areas and have surrounded Peshawar, but they cannot defeat our resolve,” said Hussain.

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