The former chief of the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), Pakistan’s largest religio-political party, narrowly escaped a bomb attack on Monday as a female suicide bomber detonated her explosives near his convoy in northwest Mohmand tribal agency.
Shamsur Rehman Khan says Qazi Husain Ahmad, the former JI chief, escaped unhurt from the attack.
Khan, who is a government administrator in Mohmand, says the bomber was wearing a burqa and had explosives strapped to her body.
The suicide bomber detonated her explosives after a vehicle with the former JI chief had passed, a government official said.
Another local official, Jamshed Khan, confirmed the incident and said “pieces of female clothes and hair found from the site make us believe that the attacker was a woman”.
Four people, including the bodyguard of the former JI chief, were injured in the attack, officials said. A vehicle was also damaged although Ahmad’s vehicle was not damaged or hit by the force of the blast.
Qazi Hussain was heading to Mian Mandi Ganghad, the main bazaar in Mohmand, to address a congregation of the party.
Mohmand is one of seven districts in Pakistan’s restive semi-autonomous tribal belt, where Pakistani Taliban and al Qaeda-linked militants are said to have carved out strongholds.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud reportedly criticized the Jamaat-i-Islami and singled out Ahmad in particular in a recent audio message, accusing him of supporting Pakistan’s US-allied rulers.