A peace committee member and his police guards were among five people who lost their lives in a “remote-controlled” blast in Swat’s Bara Bandai area on Tuesday, according to the police.
The apparent target was identified as Idrees Khan, a member of a “peace committee” – or village defence committees – which were constituted across Swat after the Taliban took control of the area between 2007 and 2009. As per locals, the members of these committees fought against militants to protect their villages and union councils.
According to the District Police Officer (DPO) Zahid Marwat, the blast was carried out through a remote-controlled device.
Swat Station House Officer (SHO) Fayaz Khan said that Khan and his police guards, identified as Head Constable Rambil and Constable Tauheed, were travelling in a vehicle when the blast occurred near the Kot Katai village at 6:30pm.
A passerby, Sanaullah, and another unidentified man were killed in the attack as well. The bodies were moved to the Saidu Sharif Teaching Hospital.
The vehicle Khan was travelling in was also reportedly completely destroyed, Fayaz said, adding that the police have cordoned off the area.
The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack.
Immediately after the blast was reported, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan took notice of the incident and summoned a report from the inspector general of police.
He extended condolences to the family members of the deceased and said he was saddened by the lives lost. “The sacrifices of the martyred will not go waste. The culprits will be brought to justice,” CM Khan added.
Meanwhile, a resident of Bara Bandai told the media that the members of peace committees have long been threatened by banned outfits and militants.
Separately, at least three policemen were injured in a hand grenade blast near the Bilitang Police Station of Kohat district, according to police.
As per details, unidentified suspects attacked the police station with a hand grenade device.
The injured were shifted to a hospital for medical treatment. No arrest was made so far till the filling of this report.
In Lower Dir, a major catastrophe was averted after the bomb disposal squad along with police reportedly defused a magnet bomb in the Lalqila area.
On Monday, a contractor was killed in a bomb blast in the Azam Warsak area of Birmil tehsil in South Waziristan, media reports said.
District Police Officer (DPO) Khanzeb Khan Mohmand confirmed the attack and said Mohammad Anwar was going home when the attack took place.
The DPO said police and the security forces cordoned off the site and launched a search operation in the area. The family sources said they did not have any enmity with anyone.