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Teenage suicide bomber leaves 26 dead; Taliban claims responsibility
Publication Date : 05-05-2012
At least 26 people, among them two security officers, were killed and 75 others injured on Friday when a teenage suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowded bazaar in Khar, the main town of Bajaur tribal region in Pakistan. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.
"The suicide bomber, stated to be a 15-year-old boy, detonated explosives strapped to his body as he approached a checkpost of the Bajaur Levies force where senior officials had gathered after patrolling the area,” Haseeb Khan, an official of the local administration, told Dawn.
Sultanzeb, an eyewitness, said Levies officials had reached the checkpost in two vehicles a few minutes before the bombing. “They were talking to security personnel at the post when the blast occurred. The place was littered with human flesh and blood,” he said.
Several shops and vehicles were damaged.
The dead and the injured were taken to the Agency Headquarters Hospital (AHH) Khar. Doctors at the AHH referred the critically wounded to hospitals in Peshawar.
Dr Jehanzeb Tawar, head of the Bajaur health deportment, said 26 people were killed and 75 others wounded in the attack.
A large number of people gathered at the hospital to donate blood.
"Bajaur Levies head Subedar-Major Javed Khan and Quarter Master Subedar Fazal Rabi were among the dead,” Political Agent Islam Zeb told reporters. He said the two officers were the target of the attack, adding that they had received threats from militants.
"Apparently, the bomber was waiting for the head of tribal police and rushed towards him when he was talking to other personnel at the checkpost,” he said.
Last year, Tamgha-i-Shujat was conferred on Subedar Fazal Rabi. A security official said that Fazal Rabi, who was in charge of the Levies bomb disposal unit, had survived several attacks in the past.
The area people said the explosion was so powerful that it was heard in 8km radius of the bombing site. A curfew was imposed in the area after the attack and markets, educational institutions and offices were closed. Public transport remained off the road.
It was the third bomb attack in Bajaur over the past two days. On Thursday, two blasts killed five people, including pro-government elders and security personnel, in tehsil Chamarkand.
Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan told reporters from an unidentified place: “Our target was the chief and deputy chief of the Bajaur Levies force.”
The two officials were involved in the killing of Al Qaeda leader Sheikh Abu Marwan Asouri in Bajaur a few years ago.