In yet another case of suicide bombing, at least two people seems to have been killed and 19 injured, including two Americans working for the US Consulate, two women and two children. As per the reports a U.S. consulate vehicle carrying technical and administrative staff of the Consulate, on Peshawar’s Abdara was the target this time.
According to the reports a vehicle laden with explosives rammed into the consulate’s car, very near to residential quarters used by the US consulate in the northwestern city and near the office of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
The blast was so powerful, that apart from destroying the consulate vehicle, it damaged several other vehicles and five to six nearby buildings along with creating a four-feet-wide and eight-feet-deep crater on the road. CCPO Peshawar Imtiaz Altaf confirmed that 110 kilograms of explosives were used in the attack.
Both the reported deceased were local, with one of them being identified as Barkatullah Khan Son of Arbab Khan resident of Swat. Police has also recovered a half-burnt US passport from a car badly damaged in the blast.
There seems to be confusion over whether any American citizen has been killed in the attack, as according to a statement given by Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain to the press it was told that at least four people, including two Americans, were killed in the attack, while as per the US embassy no US citizens were killed but two Americans working for the consulate were injured and were shifted to the US Club immediately after the attack. The embassy also told that two Pakistani employees of the Islamabad consulate were also injured.
“We can confirm that a vehicle belonging to the US Consulate in Peshawar was hit in an apparent terrorist attack. Two US personnel and two Pakistani staff of the Consulate were injured and are receiving medical treatment. No US Consulate personnel were killed, but we are seeking further information about other victims of this heinous act. We stand ready to work with Pakistani authorities on a full investigation so that the perpetrators can be brought to justice,” Department of State Spokesperson Ambassador Victoria Nuland said in the statement released by the embassy.
It was strange that the blast took place even after the security was put on high alert after the receiving the threat of an attack on US consulate just two days ago. Peshawar is close to Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal region, the host for Taliban and al Qaeda militants in the country. There have been numerous attacks earlier also, but targeting US citizens has been rare due to extra security taken by US government.
None of the militants group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.