At least 40 killed, 200 injured in suicide blast targeting JUI-F workers' convention in Bajaur

JUI-F KP spokesperson says the explosion took place at around 4pm during a leader's address to the convention

Hasban Ullah
An ambulance carrying the injured coming to the hospital. — Reporter
An ambulance carrying the injured coming to the hospital. — Reporter

  • IG KP says 10kg of explosives were used in suicide blast.
  • Geo News cameraman among injured in blast.
  • JUI-F chief demands inquiry in blast.

At least 40 people, including a Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) local leader, were killed in a suicide blast that took place on Sunday at the workers' convention in Bajaur’s Khar.

Caretaker Information Minister Feroze Jamal Shah Kakakhel told Geo News that more than 200 people have been injured during the blast that took place during the speech of a JUI-F leader.

The district emergency officer shared that the injured are also being shifted to Timergara and Peshawar.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Inspector General of Police (IGP) Akhtar Hayat Khan confirmed that the blast was a suicide attack. He added that 10kg of explosives were used in the blast and ball bearings were found from the crime scene.

He added that the investigation teams are collecting evidence from the site of the blast.

IG Frontier Corps (FC) Major General Noor Wali Khan has reached Bajaur to supervise the situation. Meanwhile, CMH Peshawar has been put on an alert and a rescue operation by the security forces and other law enforcement agencies is underway.

Geo News cameraman in critical condition

One of the injured includes Geo News cameraman Samiullah and has been shifted to the district headquarters hospital in Lower Dir as he is said to be in critical condition.

The cameraman has sustained injuries on his head and his chest.

Blast took place around 4pm: JUI-F KP spokesperson

JUI-F Khyber Pakhtunkhwa spokesperson Abdul Jalil Khan, told Geo News, that the explosion took place at around 4pm as Maulana Laeeq was addressing the convention.

The provincial spokesperson said that JUI-F MNA Maulana Jamaluddin and Senator Abdul Rasheed were also present during the convention. He confirmed that one of the dead includes JUI-F’s Tehsil Khar Amir Maulana Ziaullah.

JUI-F chief Fazl demands inquiry into incident

JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman demanded Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and KP Caretaker Chief Minister Azam Khan to carry out an inquiry into the incident.

Condemning the blast, Fazl prayed for the health of the injured and the higher ranks of the deceased.

He also urged the party workers to reach to the hospital and donate blood. 

"JUI workers should remain peaceful and federal and provincial governments should provide the best treatment to the injured," said Fazl.

PM calls Fazl, Asad

PM Shehbaz, in a telephonic conversation with JUI-F chief Fazl and Federal Minister for Communications Maulana Asad Mahmood, expressed sadness over the incident and the loss of lives.

The premier assured that the criminals will be brought to justice as the nation commits to ending terrorism.

The prime minister also prayed for those who were killed in the blast and for the speedy recovery of the injured.

Speaking to chief secretary and IG police, the PM said directed the authorities concerned to provide best medical facilities. He also issued instructions to transfer the seriously injured to other hospitals by helicopter.

He also directed to investigate the matter and take strict action against those involved.

Condemnations pour in

Punjab Caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi condemned the incident, saying that the nation is united against terrorism and will end its menace through the strength of unity.

"Those who play with the lives of innocent people do not deserve to be called human beings," he added.

Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Sirajul Haq also condemned the blast and said that it was aimed at spreading chaos in the country.

He added that the terrorist elements and their facilitators will not be able to succeed in their nefarious ambitions.

Haque also requested the government to conduct an immediate investigation into the blast.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that the federal and provincial governments should bring the facilitators of the terrorists to justice.

Expressing his sympathies and condolences to the families of the dead, Bilawal said that the planners of terrorism need to be eliminated.