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ANP leader killed in Lower Dir blast

14 September, 2011

TIMERGARA: The District Zakat Committee chairman, also a local leader of the Awami National Party (ANP), Sher Muhammad Khan, was killed and four others sustained injuries in a remote-controlled bomb blast in Maidan area in Lower Dir on Tuesday, official sources said.

The sources said that Sher Muhammad had just left his house in Maidan for his office at 11:30am when militants attacked his double-cabin van with a remote-controlled bomb. He was killed on the spot while four others, including his security guards, sustained injuries. Among the injured were police constable Muhammad Shahid, driver Nisar Ahmed, Rafiullah and Matiullah.

The explosion was heard far and wide and people rushed to the scene and shifted the injured to the District Headquarters Hospital in Timergara. ANP activists, police and Sub-Divisional Magistrate Noor Wali Wazir also reached the hospital.

Talking to reporters, Medical Superintendent Dr Wakeel Muhammad said the condition of the injured was stable. The slain ANP leader belonged to a notable political family of Masroof Khan in Maidan area. Besides being the chairman of the District Zakat Committee, he was also running a business of medicines.

Peshawar Bureau adds: The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Malakand division chapter, claimed responsibility for assassinating Sher Muhammad. A spokesman for the Malakand Taliban, Sirajuddin Ahmad, called The News (a loal newspaper) from somewhere in Afghanistan and said their men had planted an improvised explosive device (IED) to kill the ANP leader and his family members. He claimed the Taliban were now once again getting stronger in the Malakand division and most of their men, who had gone underground during the military operation, had started activities in the region.

Sirajuddin, who is a close relative and trusted aide of the Swat Taliban chief Fazlullah, warned that their men would continue to chase the ANP leaders for having conducted a military operation against them in Malakand and extending cooperation to the United States. Taliban sources said the majority of militants of Swat and Malakand region had fled their sanctuaries and taken shelter in the Kunar and Nuristan provinces of Afghanistan.

Courtesy: The News

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