Peshawar: A suicide bomber today rammed his motorcycle into a vehicle, killing a senior Pakistani police officer and his gunman in Peshawar city, capital of the restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Additional Inspector General (AIG) Headquarters Ashraf Noor and his gunman were killed and six cops escorting the vehicle were injured in the blast, police said. Ashraf Noor was on his way to work when his vehicle came under the attack. The vehicle caught fire after the blast and a thick cloud of smoke could be seen billowing from the area, police said.
The blast was so powerful that the windowpanes of the passing vehicles also broke and the nearby trees caught fire. The suicide bomber, on a motorbike, targeted the police convoy. The blast appeared to be a suicide attack, Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Tahir Khan was quoted as saying by the Dawn News.
The CCPO confirmed the death of the AIG and added that at least six policemen were injured and shifted to the Hayatabad Medical Complex. Following the blast, security officials cordoned off the area and began a search operation in the surrounding area. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, the report said.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi strongly condemned the blast in Peshawar. The premier also lauded the sacrifices of policemen in the fight against terrorism. He said that dastardly acts of the militants cannot deter our law-enforcement agencies and the nation in taking the fight to its logical conclusion. Our resolve to eradicate the menace of terrorism cannot be shaken, Abbasi said.
For decades the city of Peshawar has faced the threat of militants, due to its status as a front line for the ongoing war on terror as well as its proximity to the restless tribal areas and the Pak-Afghan border. In September, at least three policemen were killed by two Taliban gunmen in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.