Four injured, 24 video shops destroyed in Attock -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Four injured, 24 video shops destroyed in Attock

ATTOCK, Aug 24: After rocking Fata for years, the Taliban announced their entry into Attock on Sunday by blowing up 24 video shops with three bombs in a shopping plaza.

No one was killed by their violent action but two of the four persons injured were said to be in critical condition and shifted to the Rawalpindi General Hospital.

Meanwhile, the Tehrik-i-Tlaiban has sent letters to barbers in the city, asking them either not to shave beards or close their business to avoid serious consequences.

According to eyewitnesses, the blasts demolished the shops at ground floor of the plaza and broke window panes of nearby buildings, creating panic among the local residents. Among the injured, two persons are stated to be in critical condition who were shifted to Rawalpindi General Hospital, while the other two were taken to the District Headquarters hospital.

Fire erupted on the scene because of the blasts that was controlled by the fire brigade unit. The law-enforcement agencies also reached the spot.

The video shops owners in the area said that they were receiving threats from Tehrik-i-Taliban to close their business and threatened with serious consequences. They said the traders felt insecure and informed the district police about the threats.

It is worth mentioning here that Attock borders NWFP and a number of people dislocated form Bajour, Swat and other tribal areas were coming here because of military operations in these areas.

It is feared that these people are posing threat to sensitive installations, including Pakistan Ordinance factory Sanjwal and Pakistan Aeronautical complex Kamra.

District Police Officer Fakhar Sultan Raja while talking to this reporter said nature of the blasts was being ascertained, adding that preliminary investigation showed that dynamite type explosives were planted by the terrorists to blow the video shops up.

He said a police team had been constituted to conduct the detailed investigations of this incident. The DPO termed the incident alarming and said the police were taking measures to meet the threat.

However, he denied the shopkeepers’ claim that they had informed him about any threat by the Taliban.

And the letters received by the barbers said shaving the beards was un-Islamic and threatened them with dire consequences if they violated the advice.

After the threats many a barber displayed banners in front of their shops, informing the customers that their beards would not be shaved.

“How can we continue our work in this atmosphere of prevailing insecurity and threats,” a barber told this reporter, demanding the administration to take prompt measures for security of the barbers. The barbers said in the face of this alarming situation, district administration had not taken effective measures to counter the threat.

When contacted, District Coordination Officer Saqib Zafar said that mapping of video shops and barbers was being carried out, while plazas and shop owners had been directed to hire their private security guards for their security.

He said security had been put on alert after the letters were received by the barbers and that the administration was trying to trace local facilitators of the terrorists.

The provincial home department has been in contact with the district administration in this regard to maintain law and order situation, he added.
Source: Dawn
Date:8/25/2008