ISLAMABAD: At least five persons, including two senior army officers, were killed when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives next to their vehicle near Islamabad on Wednesday.
The incident occurred at around 9:20 am near a railway intersection in Tarnol area. The military said the victims included two lieutenant-colonels and three civilians.
“Two lieutenant colonels, Zahir Shah and Arshad, and three civilians embraced martyrdom when a suicide bomber hit their vehicle near Tarnol,” ISPR said.
Muhammad Altaf, a senior police official, said the suicide bomber was on foot and detonated his explosives next to the vehicle.
Since the vehicle was of white colour and had no military markings, it is most likely that the officials were from an intelligence agency. Due to security reasons, the officials of the spy agency often travel in vehicles without official number plates. It also appears that the attacker had prior information about the vehicle carrying the military officials. “Such kind of attacks without inside information are virtually impossible to execute,” sources said, adding that the possibility of the inside involvement would also be probed into. “The attack took place when the vehicle slowed down at the railway intersection,” a police official told Daily Times on the condition of anonymity. “It is for the military authorities to ascertain the nature of the attack. Our job is to collect the circumstantial evidence and fulfil the legal procedures,” he said.
The funeral prayers of both the martyred officers was offered at Chaklala Garrison. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Defence Mnister Khawaja Asif, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Rashad Mehmood, large number of military personnel from three services and people from all walks of life attended.
Later, bodies of Shaheed Colonel Zahir and Colonel Arshad Hussain were sent to their ancestral towns where they will be buried with full military honour. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack but all attacks against security officials and government installations in the past were carried out by Taliban. Observers say that the attack could be a reaction to the military’s latest aerial strikes on militant hideouts in North Waziristan.
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