Islamabad: At least five people were killed and 14 injured in a suicide explosion on Sunday in Peshawar, capital of Pakistan’s militancy plagued north-western Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, police said.
A registration camp for internally displaced people from tribal areas at a sports stadium was the target of the attack, senior police officer Najeebur Rehman said.
According to the official, ten kilograms of explosive was used in the blast.
The suicide bomber first opened fire and then blew himself up near a mosque in the stadium area, the police said.
Rehman said: “It was a suicide blast, around 10 kilograms of explosives were used.”
He said the suicide bomber was trying to target the refugees who had fled fighting between the military and the Taliban in the Khyber tribal district.
“But he could not reach them because the security forces started firing at him and he blew himself up,” Rehman said.
Shahid Afridi, a firefighter present at the site during the blast, said a man in his twenties entered the stadium and started firing with a pistol.
“The security forces retaliated and then there was a explosion and I fell to the ground,” said Afridi, who sustained leg injuries following the blast.
Muzafaruddin Sadiq, head of the government-run Lady Reading Hospital, said: “We have five dead bodies and six injured,” adding one person remained in critical condition.
Thousands of people from Tirah valley in Khyber tribal district fled their homes after the military began an operation against Al Qaida-affiliated militant groups in 2011.
Many have sought shelter in government-run camps while others stayed with extended family or in rented accommodation.
With the fighting in that district calming down, the government has started a repatriation process that requires them to register themselves so they are cleared to go home.
The attack comes two weeks after the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) formally ended a ceasefire called to help peace talks with the government.
In another incident, four security personnel were injured in a remote controlled Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attack on a security forces vehicle near Khajuri checkpost on Mir Ali Road in North Waziristan tribal region, reports said.
Earlier in the week nine soldiers were killed in a bomb attack on a security forces convoy in North Waziristan.
Peace talks between the federal government and TTP, which has its main bases in the tribal belt along the Afghan border, ran into a deadlock recently and remain stalled.
TTP last month refused to extend a ceasefire, demanding release of a large number of Taliban prisoners.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government began negotiations with the TTP through intermediaries in February in the hope of ending their bloody seven-year insurgency.
Since the TTP rose up against the Pakistani state in 2007, more than 6,800 people have been killed in bomb and gun attacks around Pakistan.