Islamabad, Dec 23 (EFE).- At least three people died, inclduing a policeman, and six others were wounded in a suicide bombing in Islamabad, police said Friday.
The suicide bomber was driving a cab packed with explosives when the police stopped him and tried to search the vehicle.
Deputy Inspector General of Police Sohail Zafar, in a press briefing, that a man and a woman were traveling in the vehicle before being stopped by the police in I-10/4 sector.
“The officers sought to search the vehicle after they found it suspicious,” he said.
“The couple came out of the car and the man, while being checked by the officers, went inside the vehicle again and detonated himself,” he added.
Zafar said a police officer was killed in the blast, while six others, including four policemen, were wounded and have been taken to a nearby hospital.
The Islamabad police issued a statement saying the area had been sealed for investigation, and the security had been beefed in the capital, which was put on high alert.
It remains unclear where the car was headed to or who the attacker had intended to target.
Television footage showed the wreckage of the destroyed vehicle with a large number of police personnel around it.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), or the Pakistani wing of the Taliban, has claimed responsibility for the attack and said it was in response to the killing of their leader earlier this year.
“We accept the responsibility of a suicide attack on the enemies of Islam in Islamabad. This blessed attack (…) was done as a revenge for the martyred leader of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Omar Khalid Khorasani,” TTP spokesperson Muhammad Khurasani said in a statement.
“We want to make it clear to the enemy that we will continue to avenge the blood of our martyrs and fulfill their dreams for an Islamic system in Pakistan,” he added.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif strongly condemned the incident and called for a report on the suicide blast.
“The police personnel stopped the terrorists by sacrificing their blood, the nation salutes its brave men,” Sharif said in a statement.
He said the entire nation will continue the war together until the end of terrorism.
A day earlier, Islamabad police issued a statement, saying it had checked 2,024 suspicious persons, motorcycles, and vehicles as part of a security measure, especially in the aftermath of new wave of terrorism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces.
The police said they were ready to deal with any situation and the Frontier Constabulary force has been deployed in the city to support the police.
The latest incident comes at a time when the country is witnessing surge in terrorism incidents.
The TTP has been fighting the Pakistani forces to topple the central government in Islamabad to impose their own brand of Shariah for over a decade now.
The group has carried out numerous terror activities, killing thousands of citizens and security forces in the country since its emergence in 2007.