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10 killed as landmine blast hits van carrying census workers in Kurram

kURREM BLASTPESHAWAR: A passenger van hit a landmine in Godar area of Kurram Agency on Tuesday, killing 10 passengers, which included children, and injuring eight others, among them two census workers.

The vehicle was on its way from Godar to Sadda, Parachinar when it hit a mine, injuring two census workers on board, security sources told media.

The injured were shifted to a hospital where they are being treated for injuries.

The army dispatched an MI-17 helicopter to Parachinar to assist in transferring the injured victims of the blast to CMH Peshawar, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) reported.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack but Shahid Ali Khan, assistant political agent for Kurram Agency, told Reuters militants planted a roadside bomb in the Kurram Agency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

“Among them is a baby and another nine-year-old child. Two women were also killed,” Doctor Mujahid Khan, a senior health official in the district told AFP.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s office said the premier had “directed relevant authorities to extend maximum support for treatment of the injured”.

Initial reports suggested that only one woman was killed in the attack, but the death toll quickly climbed to 10 after the injured succumbed to their wounds.

Census workers have been the target of many attacks since the national enumeration exercise kicked off on March 15.

After an attack targeting census workers in Lahore claimed the lives seven people — four army soldiers, an employee of the air force and two other passers-by — and injured 18 others, Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa declared that the sixth population and housing census would be completed at all costs.

The latest attack on Monday saw a security official lay down his life while another suffered injuries in the line of duty in Kallag Kolanch, an area near the coastal town of Pasni in Gwadar district. The two personnel were deputed to provide security to a census team.

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