Peshawar/Quetta: A remote-controlled bomb targeting police killed two people in northwest Pakistan on Tuesday, police said, hours after a blast near the home of a prominent provincial minister.
The device exploded near a police van carrying six officers outside the main police station in the town of Bannu, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, district police chief Nisar Ahmad Tanoli said.
An earlier blast in the town of Pabbi, just 60 metres from the home of Mian Iftikhar Hussain, the information minister for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, wounded six people.
In a third blast on Tuesday, a bomb disposal officer was killed on the outskirts of Peshawar while defusing a roadside bomb, officials said.
Tanoli said the Bannu device contained two kilograms (four pounds) of explosives and completely destroyed the police van.
“It was a remote-controlled bomb, planted on a motorbike parked outside the police station,” he said, adding that the blast killed two civilian passersby.
Police constable Mohammad Shiraz said: “We were six people in the van which was on routine patrol in the city. A sudden blast ripped through the van and all of us were wounded.”
Doctor Mahmoud Jan at Bannu’s hospital confirmed the death toll and said medics had received 14 wounded.
Hussain, a member of the province’s ruling Awami National Party (ANP) whose son was killed by Taliban militants, was 25 kilometres away in Peshawar at the time of the blast near his home, police said.
“A bomb exploded near the house of information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain and wounded three children and three passersby,” district police chief Mohammad Hussain said.
Meanwhile, gunmen shot dead a senior local election official in the southwest of the country, police said.
The shooting took place in Chandni Chowk, a congested neighbourhood of Quetta, which has been hit by two major sectarian bombings this year that have killed more than 180 people.
Gunmen on a motorbike shot Ziaullah Qasmi, the district election commissioner for Quetta, as he went by car to his office, city police chief Mir Zubair Mahmoud said.
“Gunmen fired at Ziaullah Qasmi’s car and fled. He has died while his driver is wounded,” Mahmoud said.
Fayyaz Sumbal, another senior police official confirmed the shooting and death of Qasmi.
Mahmoud said that the motive behind the killing could not be ascertained immediately and police were contacting relatives for further details.