Independent digital news channel in the tribal district Bajaur,

Bajaur suicide bombing at a JUI-F political gathering, as the toll from the tragedy rose to 54, including several minors.

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Anwarullah Khan

BAJAUR :The so-called Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K) group on Monday claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing at a JUI-F political gathering, as the toll from the tragedy rose to 54, including several minors.

According to Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Additional Inspector General Shaukat Abbas, at least 83 people were hurt in the attack, while Dr Naseeb Gul of Khar DHQ hospital feared that the toll might rise further, since some of the injured were still in very critical condition.

The AIG told “We have collected the evidence, identified the group and we are waiting for the forensic report.

The AIG Abbas told reporters the convention began at 2pm on Sunday and the explosion occurred two hours later.

He said statements of the injuredhad been recorded while the process of geo-fencing at the site of the explosion has been completed.

The CTD also registered an FIR against unidentified suspects over Sunday`s suicide bombing, which includes charges of terrorism, murder and attempted murder.

In a statement issued on Monday, District Police Officer (DPO) Nazeer Khan said that as per the investigation, up to 12kg of explosives was used in the attack.

 

 

Sources in the Khar DHQ hospital told  that at least 16 children between the ages of 12 and 15, were among the dead and wounded.

At least 36 of those who perished on Sunday were laid to rest in their native villages after funeral prayers in the Nawagai, Mamond, Sadigabad, Inayat Kallay, Khar, Shinkoot, Shandi and Alzai localities, which were attended by hundreds of people from all walks of life.

JUI-F`s Khar emir Ziaullah, his information secretary Mujahid Khan and his 22-year old son were among those laid to rest on Sunday night.

Among those buried on Monday was a pair of cousins aged 16 and 17.

`These two were very serious and down-to-earth individuals in our family,` 24-year-old shopkeeper Najeeb Ullah told as young boys wept by the coffins.

According to reports , 20-year-old Ejaz Ahmad, who had tied the knot less than a couple of weeks ago, was also among the deceased.

Abuzar Khan, a potato chip-sellerand lone brother to seven sisters, was also among the victims.

Meanwhile, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa caretaker chief minister Mohammad Azam Khan and Peshawar Corps Commander Lt Gen Sardar Hassan Azhar Hayat Khan visited Bajaur on Monday.

According to an official statement, the CM also met a delegation of elders, political and social activists and religious figures, at a jirga held in the Civil Colony area.The CM expressed his grief over Sunday`s tragedy and assured the jirga the government would extend financial support to the families of the deceased and wounded.

The mood in the area remains grim, with traders announcing shutdown strike across the district.

Distressing scenes On Monday, a mound of about 40 sandals and shoes had been piled in the shade behind a cordon of yellow police tape as zebra-striped JUI-F flags fluttered in the breeze.

The marquee lay mangled and charred the morning after the explosion, partly collapsed onto bloodsoaked carpets with around 400 upended red chairs strewn about.

Investigators in rubber gloves and facemasks picked through the scene, one using a trowel to scoop up a sample from a dark patch on the floor of the stage.

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