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MPA among 28 killed in Mardan funeral blast.

MARDAN/PESHAWAR, July 2 -- Twenty-eight people, including a newly-elected member of the provincial assembly Imran Mohmand, were killed and over 57 others injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a funeral prayer in Shah Zaman Qala village of Shergarh town in Mardan district on Tuesday.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police Mardan Mohammad Jaffar told The News that 28 people had been killed and over 57 injured in the suicide blast at the funeral.

The site of the blast is not far from the boundary with the Malakand Division, which was once a stronghold of the militants. Provincial Minister for Health Shaukat Ali Yousafzai confirmed the killing of the MPA in the blast. "MPA Imran Mohmand is among the 20 people who have been killed in the explosion," he told reporters. Later, the death toll increased.

The locals said the explosionoccurred soon after the funeral prayer that was led by Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl leader Maulana Muhammad Qasim.

They said a number of local elders had gathered to attend the funeral prayer for Haji Abdullah, the owner of a petrol pump, who was shot dead late Monday night. "The blast occurred soon after the prayer concluded," said an eyewitness. "The mutilated bodies were seen all around and the injured were crying for help," he said.

A state of emergency was declared at hospitals in Mardan and Peshawar where the injured were rushed in ambulances and private vehicles. The injured were taken to the Mardan Medical Complex, District Headquarters Hospital and a hospital in Takht Bhai. Ten injured were referred to the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar due to their critical condition.

Shaukat Yousafzai said the hospitals in Mardan and Peshawar had been directed to provide the best treatment to the injured. "To bring an end to such incidents, all the stakeholders need to sit together and hold talks," he said.

Officials said that there were threats to the MPA elected from PK-27 Mardan and his election office had also come under attack during the election campaign. Apart from private guards, two policemen were also providing security to the slain MPA.

The well-off Imran Mohmand is the second newly-elected MPA of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly to have been killed in less than a month of his oath-taking.After winning the elections, he announced joining the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI). However, the PTI leadership withheld the decision of inducting him into the party after the party workers voiced opposition to his entry.

Earlier, Farid Khan, an MPA elected independently from Hangu, was killed along with his driver in his hometown on June 3.Chief Minister Pervez Khattak condemned the suicide attack and announced Rs300,000 for the families of each slain person and Rs100,000 as compensation amount for each injured.

Some of the slain persons were identified as MPA Imran Mohmand, Gul Bacha, Fazal Malik, Abdur Rehman, Amanullah, Muhammad Ishaq, Jehanzeb, Shah Jee, Muhammad Umar, Jehanzeb Khan, Nazimuddin, Ayub Khan, Ali Gohar, Arshad Iqbal, Muhammad Zahir, Mukhtiar Khan, Adnan Khan and Ihsanullah.

The injured included Ayub, Shah Wazir, Jamshed, Nobat Khan, Ishaq, Ihsanullah, Afsar Ali, Ghafoor Shah, Jannat Khan, Sajid, Niaz Mohammad, Gul Rehman, Sadique, Shakirullah, Malik Aman, Javed, Shaheen, Wazirzada, Iqbal, Majid, Inamuddin, Naseeb, Mushtaq, Muzaffar Shah, Wahid, Mohammad, Mohammad Naseeb, Qasim, Najib Khan, Gohar Ali, Bacha Khan, Mian Khan, Mohammad Zamin, Zahirullah and constable Bashir Ahmad and Mir Azam, Noorzada, Shaheen Khan, Javed, Qasim Khan, Said Muhammad, Ishtiaq, Muzaffar Shah, Said Muhammad, Gohar Ali, Muhammad Naeem, Shoaib, Wazir Khan, Muhammad Iqbal.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, PTI Chairman Imran Khan, Jamt-e-Islami (JI) head Munawwar Hasan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Shaukatullah, patron-in-chief of the PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and other leaders condemned the suicide blast.

In their separate statements, they prayed that Almighty Allah rest the departed souls in eternal peace and grant courage to the bereaved families to bear the loss with equanimity.

TAKHT BHAI: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Member Provincial Assembly Imran Khan Mohmand, who was killed in a suicide blast during a funeral prayer, was laid to rest in his native village in Jalala.

Imran Mohmand has left behind a widow, two daughters and a son to mourn his death. He was born in 1968 at Jalala in Takht Bhai Tehsil. He did his graduation from the Mardan Degree College and started his political career by taking part in the local government election in 2002.

The late legislator joined the Awami National Party and was elected as union council Nazim in the 2002 and 2007 elections. He contested the 2013 general election as an independent candidate and won by securing 13,300 votes. He defeated several prominent politicians in the election.

His rivals accused the late MPA of spending huge amounts of money in the constituency PK-27 ahead of the election for ensuring his victory.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from South Asian Journal. For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at htsyndication@hindustantimes.com

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Publication:South Asian Journal (Lahore, Pakistan)
Date:Jul 2, 2013
Words:846
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