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Four women killed in suicide attack

By Ali Hazrat Bacha 2014-02-11
PESHAWAR: Four women died and three others suffered injuries when a suicide bomber blew himself up in a suburban village near Ring Road on Monday. Two men were also injured.

The blast damaged the house owned by one Gulzar Khan in Garhi Esakhel.

Witness Basri Bibi told reporters at the Lady Reading Hospital that shehad arranged Quran Khwani in the house and dozens of women were there.

`First we heard gunshots and then a huge blast. Initially, we did not know what had happened,` she said. `The women fell on the ground, crying in pain and scared.

She said her family had no enmity with anyone.

An investigation officer told Dawn that the suicide bomber and his two companions belonged to Malik Dinkhel branch of Khyber Agency`s Afridi tribe and wanted to target a tribal elder.

`According to initial investigation, the attackers had sent threatening messages to the elder, asking him to join their group. On his refusal they decided to teach him a lesson. Their movement aroused suspicion and villagers started chasing them. They started running away but the suicide vest worn by one of them blew up. The vest was stuffed with about 6kg explosives and ball bearings.

SSP Najeebur Rehman said the women were not the target but they died because the fleeing bomber fell on the ground outside their house and explosives went off.

His handlers were arrested and are being interrogated.

AFP quoted the SSP as saying that the blast hit a house close to where a group of people were holding funeral prayers.

`The mourners spotted three would-be suicide bombers coming towards them but managed to scare them off. Two fled the scene while the third entered a nearby house, unconnected to the mourners, and blew himself up at the entrance,` he said.

The deceased women were identified as Shah Haram, wife of Shah Faisal; Sheeba, daughter of Haji Gulzar; Taj Bibi, wife of Rehman Syed; and Dil Ara, wife of Amir Zada.

The injured included seven-year-old Tahir, Fauzia, Basri Bibi, Tayyab and Khalida.

Rescuers said that when they reached the place of the incident they saw human flesh scattered all around. The four women died before they could be taken to hospital,` said the spokesman for the Rescue Services, 1122, Bilal Ahmed Faizi.

A case has been registered at the Chamkani police station.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and Governor Shaukatullah have expressed grief over the loss of lives and injuries suffered by women and children.

The chief minister prayed for the dead and early recovery of the injured.

The governor described the incident as an inhuman act of terrorism.