Minister escapes suicide attack, seven killed


At least seven people, including three policemen and a child, were killed and more than 20 others injured in a suicide attack in Batagram town on Monday. The explosion occurred near WAPDA House, at the entrance venue in Paimaladda where PML-Q provincial president Amir Muqam, also a federal minister, was scheduled to address a public meeting.
Muqam told Pakistan Today that it was an attempt on his life, adding that he could not reach the venue of the public meeting in time as his motorcade got stuck in a demonstration against load shedding. “I can confirm that it was a suicide attack. The bomber came on foot. He blew himself up when police stopped him for a body search at the entrance of the venue of the public meeting,” a police official said.“I’ll certainly go there and see what happened.
I’ll also go to the hospital to meet the injured people. I’m not satisfied with the arrangements made for the public meeting,” he said.To a question, Muqam said certain elements were against peace, stability and political activities, therefore they were engineering such terrorist acts. “But such acts can’t force me to change my stance on terrorism,” he said. Officials confirmed that the bomber blew himself up a little while before the minister’s arrival. Soon after the explosion, officials rushed to the site and supervised rescue activities.
They said a number of vehicles were also destroyed, adding that an increase in the number of casualties was also expected. Almost simultaneously, an accidental explosion ripped through an arms depot just outside the capital Islamabad, killing one soldier, injuring three others and bringing down the roof of a small barracks, officials said. The military declared Swat back under control two years ago after a major air and ground offensive against local Taliban militants who had paralysed much of the former tourism destination after rising up in 2007.