During the suicide car bomb attack in Islamabad’s I-10 sector on Friday evening, a police official was martyred and at least six other people – including four policemen – were injured, police said in a statement.
In an interview with the media, Deputy Inspector General of Police Sohail Zafar Chattha stated that police spotted a “suspicious vehicle” in the area around 10:15 am which was being driven by a man and a woman.
When the ICT Police’s Eagle Squad stopped the vehicle, the two emerged from the vehicle when officers of the ICT Police’s Eagle Squad stopped it. The officers found that the long-haired man, who was being checked by the officers, had gone into the vehicle for some reason and then detonated himself, as he was being checked by them.”
This led to the martyrdom of a police officer who was a member of the Eagle Squad and injuries to four other officers as a result of the incident.
It has also been confirmed that the casualty is Head Constable Adeel Hussain, according to the ICT police official Twitter handle. As a result of a timely action taken by the ICT, the city was saved from a terrorist attack, according to the police.
There was also a statement that the federal capital’s police force stated that the security in Islamabad was on “high alert,” and that “checks” were being conducted on suspected individuals and vehicles.
As a result of the blast site being cordoned off by rescue and security services, there have been no casualties. In the surrounding areas, CCTV cameras have been installed to gather video evidence to assist in the investigation of the incident
It was decided by the police that traffic should be diverted to the service road east of I-10/4 as a result of the bombing and warned citizens to use the service road west of I-10/4 as an alternative route.
As part of the security measures in Rawalpindi district, the police have also been placed on high alert and strict monitoring of all entry and exit points into the twin cities has been carried out as part of the security measures. Friday prayers will be conducted under strict security arrangements, as instructed by authorities.
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Police also advised citizens to carry identification documents and said strict action would be taken against “non-specimen” number plates. It further said that no individuals will be allowed to carry arms.
The banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsiblity for the attack.
‘Loaded with explosives’
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Friday said the vehicle “loaded with explosives” was aimed at high-value targets in the federal capital.
In a statement after the suicide bombing in Islamabad, Sanaullah said the vehicle entered Islamabad from Rawalpindi on Friday morning.
He also confirmed that a “male and a female terrorist” were in the vehicle as it entered Islamabad from Inter-Junction Principal Road, Rawalpindi.
Elaborating on the casualties, he said one police officer was martyred and six others were injured and acknowledged that Islamabad had been spared from a “major accident” owing to the bravery of the police.
“I pay tribute to the Islamabad police for their duty. Shaheed Adeel Hussain will be given the Martyr’s Package,” he said.
He expressed sympathy with the family of the martyr and prayed for the speedy recovery of those injured in the incident.
Condemnations pour in
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif strongly condemned the blast and sought a report from the police. He paid tribute to the martyred policeman and said the “entire nation salutes their valiant police personnel who sacrificed lives and stopped the terrorists”.
Vowing that the country will fight till the “complete elimination of terrorism”, the premier expressed sympathies with the injured and directed for their best possible treatment.
He also directed IG Police to confer awards on the police personnel for their bravery.
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Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari condemned the attack and paid tribute to the “brave police officers”. He also expressed grief over the loss of life in the terrorist attack.
Information Marriyum Aurangzeb said the federal capital was saved from a “big disaster” today and paid tribute by calling the martyred police officer and those injured “heroes”.
End of ceasefire
The TTP had said in November that they have called off a ceasefire agreed with the federal government in June and ordered its militants to stage terrorist attacks across the country, a statement from the banned terror outfit said.
The TTP, a separate entity from the Taliban in Afghanistan but sharing a similar hardline ideology, has been responsible for hundreds of attacks and thousands of deaths since emerging in 2007.
The government and the TTP had agreed to a truce earlier this year after Afghanistan’s new Taliban rulers took a prominent role in brokering peace talks, but negotiations made little progress and there were frequent breaches.
The Express Tribune had reported that the talks reached a deadlock as the terror group refused to budge from its demand for the reversal of the merger of erstwhile Fata with the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.