Zahir Shah Sherazi
Dera Ismail Khan, 25 November 2012. A bomb detonated near a Muharram procession in Commissionary Bazaar in Dera Ismail Khan’s Choglia area in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province early on Sunday, killing five people and injuring at least 70 others.
Tehrik-i-Taliban spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan while talking to Dawn.com’s correspondent claimed that the militant organisation was behind the attack, adding that it was a suicide bomber who struck the procession.
Ehsan added that no matter what steps the federal interior minister would take with regards to security arrangements, the Taliban would succeed in hitting their targets.
However, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Provincial Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain while talking to Dawn.com’s correspondent confirmed that five people were killed and about 70 were injured in the Dera Ismail Khan blast.
He further said that the injured also included women, children and security personnel, adding “the bomb was planted inside a closed cycle workshop near a bakery in Commissonery Bazaar near Mohallah Qasaban.”
Mian Iftikhar also said that security was beefed up after the 9th Muharram explosion in Dera Ismail Khan and the road, where the latest blast took place, was also scanned properly but the perpetrators had planned the attack in advance.
Moreover, he said that those found responsible of negligence would be dealt with according to the law.
While answering a query about the nature of the blast he said that only the Bomb Disposal Squad’s (BDS) report could ascertain the nature of the explosion and it was yet to be received.
Rescue and emergency teams reached the site of explosion and shifted the injured to the District Headquarters hospital, where an emergency was imposed.
The condition of several wounded was reported as critical, according to hospital sources.
The injured included security personnel and mourners taking part in the procession.
The remotely-detonated bomb was fitted near a closed shop and a cylinder was recovered near the site of explosion, according to rescue sources.
Media personnel were barred from visiting the site of explosion and security personnel cordoned off the area as investigations into the blast went underway.
Earlier, a blast on Saturday killed eight people near a Shia procession in the same city, for which the banned outfit Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had claimed responsibility.
Pakistan’s federal interior ministry had issued strict instructions for suspension of mobile phone service in major cities during Ashura to prevent such bombings, which often use cellphones as detonators.