PESHAWAR, Dec 4: A suspected woman suicide bomber blew herself up at a checkpoint in the high-security military cantonment area on Babar Road on Tuesday, police and security officials said.
A security official said the woman wearing a blue burqa had been stopped by guards at the checkpoint.
“She lifted the veil from her face and smiled, and then there was a huge explosion,” a security official quoted a guard at the scene as saying.The woman was said to be in her mid-to-late 30s. The lower part of her body had been torn apart but the upper part was surprisingly intact, unlike in other cases of suicide bombing.
An official said that a piece of the woman’s flesh hit a security guard. There were no signs of pellets or ball bearings in the incident.
“The woman was hardly twenty metres away from the guards and had it been a case of suicide bombing, ball-bearing or pellets packed in an explosive vest could have killed the guards. But no such thing was found,” the official said.
He suspected that the woman was holding the explosive material in her hand, hidden in the burqa, and she might have been sent to plant it somewhere, but it went off prematurely.
Contrary to earlier reports, there are no offices of any intelligence agency on the road, which links the main road with the cantonment housing the corps commander office at one end and the Governor’s House at the other.
The official said that efforts were under way to check the identity of the bomber through Nadra’s database, adding that the woman’s burqa, face and her two braids indicated that she was Afghan. The Peshawar police chief insisted that the woman was a suicide bomber.