Suicide blast in Mardan leaves one dead, 18 wounded

Tariq Saeed

Peshawar—A deadly suicide explosion in the Excise and Taxation Department Mardan on Tuesday left at least one person killed and 18 others seriously injured. Officials of the department, a journalist and a cop are included among the wounded persons. The suicide bomber was also torn apart in the explosion that was heard in the radius of three kilometers.
Eye witness and the Police said a teenaged suicide bomber attired in green cloths forced his way to the Regional Excise and Taxation department around 12 noon by resorting to firing closed to the office and later blew himself up in the computer room playing havoc in the area.
People present outside the office, where usually there is great hustle and bustle, said some forty people were present inside the government office located in a densely populated area close to many other government offices on Mall Road when the attacker detonated his explosives. However, a majority of the people survived as they ran for shelter owing to indiscriminate firing by the bomber who was caught in the CCTV footage.
“The attacker fired gunshots, causing people to panic and run away. This was one of the reasons the bomb did not cause major casualties as it may have done otherwise”. An official said. Some reports suggest the bomber fired shots at the police and guards posted at the main entrance to make way to the Excise office.
Mardan District Police Officer (DPO) confirmed that the attack was a suicide explosion adding the suicide bomber fired many gunshots before entering the computer section of the office and detonating his explosives. “We have found bullet marks on the gate, showing the attacker fired gunshots before he entered and blew himself up”. The official said.
The location of the Tuesday’s suicide attack is close to the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) office where a suicide bomber blew himself up in December last , killing 26 people and injuring scores others.
Some 19 wounded persons were shifted to Mardan Medical Complex and District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ) Mardan by the rescue teams as the security forces cordoned off the area. Emergency was declared in Mardan hospitals where a victim succumbed to his injuries as the doctors described the condition of at least three wounded persons as critical.
Those wounded in the Tuesday blast included a journalist and a police man. Police and security forces are reported to have launched search operation after the blast.
The Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Governor Engr. Iqbal Zafar Jhagra has strongly condemned the suicide attack in Excise Office Mardan on Tuesday.
In a statement the Governor expressed heartfelt sympathies and solidarity with the victims and asked the relevant officials for immediate and better treatment of injured persons and assured that innocent people would not be left at the mercy of terrorist and termed the terrorist blast as cowardly act of terror. He said that strict action would also be taken against the facilitators of the terrorists.
Governor said such attacks could not deter the national resolve to eliminate the wave of militancy and menace of terrorism. He said that those who involved in heinous crimes will be brought to the court of justice at any cost. He has also wished early recovery of the injured.
Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Special Assistant to Chief Minister KP on Information and Higher Education Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani has also strongly condemned the terrorist attack at Excise office, Mardan, adding such cowardly acts of terrorism could not shake the nation’s resolve against the menace of extremism and terrorism.
He said that continued bomb attack at public places was serious threat because terrorists have now chosen soft targets adding the entire nation was united against the war on terrorism and will definitely win this war because we have no option but to succeed.

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