PESHAWAR: Unknown miscreants attacked Qissa Khawani Bazzar for 13th time as an explosive laden vehicle was detonated outside a police station in Peshawar which claimed 39 lives including 18 members of a single family and more than 100 sustained injuries here on Sunday.
Additional Inspector General of Bomb Disposal Squad Shafqat Malik said that it was high intensity remote control blast in which the entire vehicle has been converted to a huge bomb by using 225 Kilogram explosives materials in the attack.
Commissioner Peshawar Sahibzada Anees confirmed that the blast was remote control and its target was probably Police station. He said that 39 persons have been killed and more than 80 have been injured.
Shaukat Yusufzai, provincial information minister, stated that the terrorists’ main target was the Khan Raziq Police Station while local police do not believe the police station was the target as the car was parked away from the police station.
Bomb disposal Chief Shafqat Malik said that the police station did not seem the main target as it is away from the attack site. He added that it looked like the market was being the target of the anti-state elements.
There was terror amongst the people in the area, who were helping each other out.
The wounded persons were shifted to the hospital by the people in the area. They also included women and children.
An eyewitness said that about six women along with their children, who came for shopping in the market, were completely burned as a result of the huge explosion.
Moving scenes were witnessed in the hospital, the relatives were wandering in desperate condition to search their own nears and dears. People were beating their bodies to mourn the death of their beloved ones. Eighteen persons of a single family who came to Peshawar from Charsadda for wedding purpose also became the victims of the powerful blast.
This is the third attack in Peshawar in the last eight days. On last Friday almost 19 people were killed and dozens sustained injuries when a bomb exploded inside the private bus of Civil Secretariat carrying government employees towards Gul Bela via Charsadda Road. On last Sunday almost 85 worshipers, among them 34 women and seven children, were killed and more than hundreds were injured in an attack on All Saints Church.
It was the 13th bomb blast in Qissa Khawani Bazzar. The blast took place near Khan Raziq Police Station, located in Qissa Khawani Bazzar, a crowded and congested area of the old city. Soon after the explosion, fire erupted and at least 50 shops were either damaged or completely destroyed.
Red alert has been declared in Peshawar while heavy contingent of police rushed to the blast site and cordoned-off the area. Police has taken the vehicle in their custody for investigation purpose.
“My nephew insisted to buy him ice cream. I buy him ice cream and we sat to eat it. Suddenly a deafening blast occurred,” said Sajjad, an eye witness wearing white clothes dirt with dust rose from the blast.
Holding his injured nephew in his hands, he said, the blast kicked up a cloud of dust and I don’t assessed what has happened. The sound of the explosion was very high as I cannot hear anything for a while,” he added.
The angry young man, who laboring abroad and came on three months vacations after three years of stay in Saudi Arabia, said he sent remittances to Pakistan to contribute to the fragile economy of the country but in return the state could not protect him and other citizens against such attacks. “We want peace. It doesn’t matter whether the government restores it through talks or force,” he added.
“I closed down my shop to leave for home and heard a huge blast. An injured man was coming towards me. He asked me to rush him to the hospital for treatment suddenly a second blast occurred and I also run for my life,” said Imran Khan, another eyewitness who owned an spectacles shop at Qissa Khwani Bazaar.
“There was destruction everywhere and vehicles and shops were burning. The injured were crying for help and body limbs scattered all around the blast site,” he said while recalling the horrible scene.
Hundred of Shopkeeper of Qissa Khwani Bazar also staged protest demonstration and demanded protection of their life and property. They said that the government which could not protect the life and property of the masses has no right rule.
Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhw Pervez Khattak has strongly condemned the bomb blast in Qissa Khwani Bazar Peshawar and has expressed heartiest feelings of sorrow and grief over the loss of precious human lives in the tragic incident. He has also expressed sympathies and solidarity with the bereaved families.
It is unfortunate that some parties are again using this tragedy for political point scoring when all political forces should be together to bring peace to Pakistan, Khan said. He directed PTI coalition government to move on an emergency basis to bolster the Provincial security and intelligence set ups. Khyber Pukhtunkhwa is being deliberately targeted by those forces who do not want to see peace and stability restored in Pakistan, Khan concluded.
Meanwhile the KP Senior Minister for Finance and Parliamentary Leader of JI Sirajul Haq also visited Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar and enquired after health of injured of Qissa Khani Bazar car bomb blast. He went to every bed of the injured and their attendants and asked about their condition and problems. He directed the CE, hospital and doctors to extend every treatment facilities to the injured free of cost till their recovery.
He strongly condemned this coward act of terrorism and hoped that since key of peace rested with federal govt so it would take prompt actions in this regard while the provincial govt would fully support it with all its consequences. He said protection of lives, honour and properties of our innocent people was prime duty of the govt and assured that our govt would never delay for proper actions in this respect.
Member of National Assembly Ghulam Ahmad Bilour also visited blast site and condemned the brutal attack of terrorism. He said that militants targeting innocent citizen of Pakistan while PTI chairman demanding office for them.
Emergency was declared in all three main hospitals of Peshawar, huge rush was observed in Lady Reading Hospital, where most of the victims were shifted, however, few of the injured were also shifted to Khyber Teaching Hospital Peshawar due to high burden of victims in LRH.