By Aamir Latif
A suspected suicide bomber targeted a bus carrying Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission staff, killing three people and injuring over a dozen others in northeastern Punjab province on Thursday, officials said.
According to preliminary reports, the alleged bomber first opened fire on the bus in the province’s Attock district and then detonated himself.
District Emergency Officer Dr. Mohammad Ashfaq told Dawn News the suspected bomber blew himself up after the bus driver, who is among the dead, and other employees tried to overpower him.
Ashfaq put the toll at two dead and 13 others injured.
However, Ghulam Shabbir, an official at a district hospital in Attock, told Anadolu Agency three bodies had been brought to the hospital while 13 others were injured, including three critically.
This is the first terror-related bomb attack in last several months in Punjab, the country’s largest province.
In August 2015, Punjab Home Minister Shuja Khanzada had been killed along with 16 others in a suicide blast at his residence in Attock.
According to Interior Ministry figures, there has been a 70 percent decline in terrorism-related incidents, including suicide bombings in the country following a series of military onslaughts on the Pakistani Taliban group and its affiliates in the northwestern tribal region along the Afghan border since 2014.
Over 5,000 suspected militants and more than 700 security personnel have been killed in clashes, aerial strikes, and landmine blasts during this period.