Ashraf Noor
AIG Ashraf Noor (File photo)

Peshawar — A top police official was killed along with his bodyguard when a suicide bomber on a motorbike rammed into their vehicle Friday morning, police said.

Five other people were injured in the incident, which occurred in the restive city of Peshawar as the Additional Inspector General for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Ashraf Noor, and his guard were travelling to work.

KP’s police chief Salahuddin Mehsud said that three policemen were among the five injured, and were being treated at the nearby hospital.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi strongly condemned the murder. “Our resolve to eradicate the menace of terrorism cannot be shaken,” said in a statement of the PM office.

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa has also presented a strong tribute to the martyred AIG and said: “Salute to the supreme sacrifice of our police comrade AIG Noor. Our determination remains undeterred against threats to our motherland,” DG ISPR tweeted.

According to an initial probe report compiled shortly after the attack, the suicide attacker was identified as an 18 — 20-year old youth. Evidence has been gathered from the site of the blast for further investigation, the report said.

After the blast, security officials cordoned off the site and began a search operation in the surrounding area.

Although there has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, the city of Peshawar has for decades been a victim of militancy due to its status as a front line for the ongoing war against terrorism as well as its proximity to the restless tribal areas and the Pak-Afghan border.