Blast leaves 16 dead in Darra Adamkhel
By: Abdul Sami Paracha
KOHAT: At least 16 people were killed and 35 others injured when a car bomb ripped through a market in Darra Adamkhel on Saturday. Twenty-eight of the injured were admitted to Peshawar’s Lady Reading Hospital.
According to officials, the bomber’s target was an office of a peace committee, but the place escaped devastation because he was unable to find a spot for parking the explosive-laden vehicle anywhere near the building.
More than 30 shops and eight cars were destroyed in the explosion. A spokesman for Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan condemned the blast, saying his group had nothing to do with it. “We are against attacking public places and killing innocent people.”
The explosion left a huge crater on the road. It took place at 10.25am when the market was throbbing with activity. Darra Adamkhel is notorious for having one of the largest centres of illegal weapons manufacture in the country.
Officials said it was unclear whether the vehicle had come from outside or from within Darra Adamkhel. Vehicles entering the tribal area are subjected to rigorous security checks at a number of points on the way. Security forces, which regained control of Darra Adamkhel from militants in 2008, cordoned off the area and refused to let journalists in for coverage.
They collected evidence and human remains for investigation.
In March 2008, 45 tribesmen, including prominent elders, were killed and more than 50 wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up during a jirga in the Darra market. The elders were holding negotiations for forming a lashkar to take on the Taliban.
Agencies add: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain has called upon the federal government to consider launching a “decisive operation against terrorists”. “It was a suicide attack and the target was the local peace committee,” he said while talking to journalists in Peshawar about the latest strike in the province.
“These Taliban have killed our innocent people in so many attacks. They are still killing our people. Instead of wasting time, we should hit them back and do it as early as possible to save the precious lives of our innocent girls like Malala Yousufzai,” he said.
The peace committee comprised a breakaway group of militants who had ditched their Taliban colleagues and formed a militia supporting local elders and government efforts against militancy, a local intelligence official said.