Police officers inspect a damaged police van at an explosion site in Peshawar, northwestern Pakistan, July 30, 2021. At least one policeman was killed and two people injured in an explosion in Peshawar, the capital city of Pakistan's northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, a rescue organization said. The police were shifting a shopkeeper using a police van to a nearby police station upon the shopkeeper's violation of COVID-19 related guidelines when the van was hit by the explosion, Sher Gul from the non-governmental rescue organization Edhi Foundation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa told Xinhua. (Photo by Saeed Ahmad/Xinhua)
ISLAMABAD, July 30 (Xinhua) -- A policeman was killed and two others including a passerby and a policeman were injured when an explosion hit a police van in Pakistan's northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Friday, police and rescue teams said.
The incident happened in the busy Karkhano Market of the provincial capital Peshawar where some unknown militants targeted the police vehicle, Capital City Police Officer of Peshawar Abbas Ahsan told media after inspecting the site.
He said that further investigation into the attack is underway but apparently the blast hit the people sitting in front of the police van when it was on its routine patrolling in the city.
Earlier, a rescue organization Edhi Foundation which shifted the injured to the hospital, as well as a police statement said that the cops were targeted when they were launching an operation in the market to ensure compliance with COVID-19 related guidelines.
Sher Gul from the Edhi Foundation in the province, told Xinhua that a shopkeeper was being shifted to a police station when the attack was launched.
Talking to Xinhua, Station House Officer of Hayatabad area of the city Imtiaz Khan, where the market is located, said that the operation to ensure the guidelines was also underway in the market by another police party, but the attack was launched at the police who patrol around the area at almost the same time every day.
He said that initial investigation suggested that the militants hurled a hand grenade at the moving vehicle before fleeing the scene.
A search operation is underway in the area to nab the fleeing militants, while further investigation is underway at the site which has been sealed by the investigation teams, he added.
No group or individual has claimed the attack yet.
The injured were shifted to a nearby hospital where the passerby was discharged after first aid whereas the policeman is in a critical condition, hospital sources told Xinhua.
Chief Minister of the province Mahmood Khan condemned the attack and said that the militants cannot deter the resolve of "our forces against the menace of anti-state activities," the chief minister's office said in a statement. Enditem