With reporting by Hussain Nagri
Gilgit, October 3: The van blast that led to the death of at least three people and injured several others was not a result of terrorist activity. Nor was the attack an act of sectarian attack. There was no bomb inside or on the road when the blast took place.
These revelations were made by DC Gilgit Ajmal Bhatti in a hurriedly called press briefing at his office. He dispelled the impression that the blast had been caused by terrorists.
The Deputy Commissioner of Gilgit, Ajmal Bhatti, said that they had recovered as many as 453 rods of explosives from the luggage of the passengers. He said that the explosive is used by the villagers for detonating mountains and rocks, for the purpose of mining and also for developing agricultural land. He said that the explosives made in Wah Ordinance Factory was being transported in the vehicle to the Haramosh valley when the blast occurred. He said that the blast could have happened due to heat generated by the engine or by lighting of a lighter or matches box by some passenger.
It is pertinent to note that a person named Mir Masoom Shah had earlier in the evening told Pamir Times correspondent that a road-side bomb had caused the explosion. However, this was not verified by official sources.
The press conference was also attended by Assistant Commissioner of Danyore and the Superintendent of Police (Investigation).
A sense of fear and panic had gripped the whole region after the reports of explosion in the van spread through the social and electronic media this evening. The explosion brought back memories of similar acts of saboteur in the past.
The clarification by the Deputy Commissioner and other senior officials is likely to help calm down the anxiety and lessen the fear among the masses.
Throughout the day people in the region had been discussing with fear reports about terror alert issued by the National Counter Terrorism Authority a couple of days back.