Friday, December 23, 2022
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Cop martyred, several injured in Islamabad suicide attack

Police stopped "suspicious" taxi in I-10 area for checking when blast took place; security put on "red alert" in federal capital

Rescue workers and police officers gather at the site of a suicide car bombing in Islamabad, Pakistan December 23, 2022. — Reuters
Rescue workers and police officers gather at the site of a suicide car bombing in Islamabad, Pakistan December 23, 2022. — Reuters
  • PM condemns suicide attack, pays homage to martyred policeman.
  • Rana Sanaullah says car was headed for a high-value target.
  • Citizens are advised to carry identification documents while traveling.


ISLAMABAD: At least one cop was martyred, while multiple were injured on Friday in a suicide attack in the Federal Capital's I-10 area, Deputy Inspector General Operations Sohail Zafar Chattha told the media. 

The law enforcement agency has cordoned of the area after the explosion. 

Sources part of the investigation team said that about 18 kilograms of explosives were used in the blast. They said that the vehicle was registered in Chakwal but has a number plate of Lahore.

The police said that a mobile phone has been discovered at the scene of the incident which has been seized.

Addressing the media at the blast site, DIG Chattha said that members of the Eagle Squad stopped a suspicious taxi for checking when the suicide attacker detonated himself.  

The DIG said that the attacker blew himself after he came back in his car. He added that a women and man were in the taxi when the explosion occurred. 

"Police personnel saved Islamabad from a major disaster with courage and presence of mind," said DIG Chattha. He added that four cops were injured in the attack.

Meanwhile, Director of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Dr Khalid Masood said that they have received 10 injured. He added that apart from the martyred cop, two other dead bodies had arrived at the hospital.

The martyred cop was identified as Head Constable Adeel Hussain.

High alert in twin cities

Security has been put on high alert in Rawalpindi and Islamabad after the blast occurred in the federal capital.

On the other hand, the regional police officer of Rawalpindi directed the district police officer and the city police officer to make snap-checking more effective on all the internal and external routes. He also directed the police to check suspicious vehicles and people closely at special checkpoints.

The cop also ordered to ensure fool-proof security during Friday prayers and other sensitive places. The RPO further ordered to ensure the checking of cars and people following the SOPs.

In view of the security situation, Section 144 has also been imposed in the capital.

All the hospitals in Islamabad have been put on high alert, a notification issued by the Ministry of National Health Services said. The ministry said to ensure the attendance of all the medical and paramedical staff.

The Ministry of Health said that all federal hospitals should be kept on high alert keeping in view the current situation.

Terrorists had 'high value' target in mind: Sanaullah 

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, while terming the man and woman terrorists , said that they had plans to attack a "high value target". 

The security czar of the country said that the attackers had come in a car as they planned to enter an important building such as the Parliament House, Supreme Court, Prime Minister House, PTV, and high courts. He added had the car not been stopped then there would have been many casualties.

"This would have been a shame for our country if the attack had taken place at a high-value building or Red Zone area," the interior minister told Geo News.

Sanaullah said that security forces were on high alert after the Bannu incident and Islamabad is always on alert.

PM summons report

Soon after the blast, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif summoned a report of the suicide blast and also condemned the terror incident.

The PM also paid tribute to the martyred policemen, adding that the nation pays tribute to its martyrs. He added that the whole nation will fight against terrorism. 

"The plan to shed innocent blood has failed due to the action of the law enforcement agencies," said the PM. He also announced a martyr package for the family of Head Constable Adeel Hussain.

Condemnations  

Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb condemned terrorism in the city, saying that Shaheed Adeel Hussain and the injured are the heroes of the nation.

Aurangzeb prayed for the family members, the martyred and the speedy recovery of the injured.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, condemning the suicide attack in Islamabad, expressed condolences over the martyrdom of the policeman.

Bilawal paid tribute to the policemen for their bravery. 

"The Islamabad police have carried their duties without caring about their lives," said the foreign minister.

The minister also expressed sympathy to the family members of the martyred and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured police personnel.

Former president and Pakistan Peoples Party Vice Chairman Asif Ali Zardari also condemned the incident while offering his condolences to the family of the martyred policeman and praying for the wounded.

The brave policemen have crushed the evil intentions of the terrorists, he said.

Reacting to the blast, opposition leader Asad Umar said that the presence of the suicide bomber shows how fast the country is "heading towards destruction". 

"Terrorism was already spreading rapidly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Economy destroyed. law and order destroyed. Where are they leading the country in the greed for power?" tweeted Umar.