PESHAWAR - At least three personnel of Frontier Constabulary embraced martyrdom and five others were injured on Tuesday in a roadside bomb blast in Bashirabad area of Peshawar, where levels of militant violence had recently dropped.

Rescue sources said that a FC vehicle was on the way back to the headquarters when a planted device hit the vehicle in Bashirabad area.

Muhammad Sajjad Khan, a senior police official, told The Nation the improvised explosive device, which was planted along the roadside, exploded when the FC vehicle was passing by. “Three FC men have been killed and five wounded,” Khan said.

Rescue-1122 and locals immediately reached the site and shifted the bodies and the injured persons to Lady Reading Hospital, Peshawar.

The deceased personnel were identified as Hanif Jamal, a resident of Dargai; Yasirullah, a resident of Karak; Khalid, a resident of Malakand; while the injured were identified as Aizaz Ali, Zahoor, Said Wakeel, Bakhti Rawan and Asif.

Zulfiqar Babakhel, a spokesman for the city’s main hospital, confirmed the death toll and said two of the wounded were critically injured.

A faction of the Pakistani Taliban later claimed the attack. Overall levels of militant-linked violence have fallen since the army launched an operation in 2014 to wipe out militant bases in the tribal districts and end an insurgency that has cost thousands of civilian lives since 2004.

But militant groups are still able to carry out periodic bloody attacks, particularly in the northwest.

PM CONDEMNS BOMB ATTACK

Staff Reporter from Islamabad adds: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif strongly condemned the terrorist attack on FC personnel in Peshawar. The prime minister expressed deep grief and sorrow over the loss of valuable lives of FC personnel in the attack.

“These cowardly attacks can’t shatter our unflinching resolve to eliminate terrorism and extremism from our motherland,” the PM said.

The prime minister prayed to Almighty Allah to bless the departed souls with eternal peace and grant of courage to the bereaved families to bear this irreparable loss with fortitude. He prayed for swift recovery of those injured during the attack.