4 Policemen Killed In Terrorist Attack In Northwest Pakistan


Peshawar: Heavily-armed militants attacked a newly-constructed police station in Pakistan’s troubled Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province early Sunday morning, leaving four policemen dead and as many injured, officials said.

The Burgai police station in Lakki Marwat bordering the South Waziristan tribal district was attacked by militants carrying lethal weapons, including hand grenades and rocket launchers, they said.

“At midnight, militants attacked the police station and tried to enter the building,” Lakki Police spokesperson Shahid Hameed was quoted as saying by Dawn.com.

He said more than 60 policemen, who were on duty at that time, engaged the militants for almost 45 minutes after which the attackers escaped, taking advantage of the darkness.

A heavy police contingent launched a search operation in the area to track down the suspects.

Although no group has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, previous attacks on police in the district have been claimed by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Hours later, the militants seized a counter-terrorism center in Bannu district of the restive province and took hostages to negotiate with the government authorities, officials said.

Special assistant to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister on information Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif, however, said that some suspects in custody under suspicion of terrorism tried to snatch weapons from security personnel deployed on site.

“The situation is under complete control. Security forces have cordoned off the area,” he said, adding that an operation was underway and would be completed in a while.

Citing a senior police officer, Dawn.com said that around 25 arrested members of banned terrorist organizations were under arrest and interrogation at the CTD center when they took the guns from seven security personnel on duty and made them hostages.

President Arif Alvi condemned the attack on the police station, saying “our efforts will continue until the complete elimination of the remnants of terrorism”.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said the entire nation saluted the “huge sacrifices” of police officers and soldiers in their fight against terrorism.

“Terrorists were the open enemies” of the nation, said a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office. “Those who have been shielding the nation against terrorists are our heroes.” The prime minister further said the elimination of terrorists, their supporters, and facilitators was the “national priority”.

He also urged the KP government to provide a compensation package to the families of martyred police personnel.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also condemned the killing of the police personnel by the terrorists.

“Attacks on security forces and police personnel in KP are worrying,” he said. “Terrorists should be chased and brought to justice.” The Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Mehmud Khan, described Sunday’s attack as an act of cowardice and sought an immediate report from the provincial police chief.

Funerals for the slain policemen were held at the Lakki police line on Sunday morning.

Former president Asif Ali Zardari also condemned the attack and highlighted that the “increase in terrorism incidents in KP was concerning”.

Last month, militants attacked a police patrol vehicle, killing all six policemen in the same area. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the ambush.

The TTP, set up as an umbrella group of several militant outfits in 2007, last month called off a ceasefire agreed upon with the federal government in June and ordered its militants to stage terrorist attacks across the country.

The group, which is believed to be close to al-Qaeda, has been blamed for several deadly attacks across Pakistan, including an attack on army headquarters in 2009, assaults on military bases, and the 2008 bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad.

In 2012, Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai was attacked by TTP. She suffered bullet injuries and was admitted to the Military Hospital (CMH) Peshawar and then taken to London for further treatment. The TTP claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that Yousafzai was a “Western-minded girl”.

In 2014, the Pakistani Taliban stormed the Army Public School (APS) in the northwestern city of Peshawar, killing at least 150 people, including 131 students. The attack sent shockwaves across the world, and was widely condemned.

(This report has been published as part of the auto-generated syndicate wire feed. No editing has been done in the headline or the body by ABP Live.)


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