PESHAWAR: A policeman was killed when heavily armed militants riding motorcycles fired at him, in retaliation one of the suspected militants was killed on Grid Road, in Dera Ismail Khan. The remaining militants, who had reportedly hid in a local college, managed to escape.
Talking to the Express Tribune, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Syed Imtiaz Shah said that armed men had attacked a policeman in Dera Ismail Khan. The policeman, identified as Jehangir, was killed in the attack. However, return fire from the police claimed one of the assailants.
“One of the militants was gunned down by the rider squad who were on a routine check on the route,” Shah, said, adding, “Others managed to escape injured, because of the dimming light.” A search operation was underway to apprehend the injured militants, the DIG noted.
Immediately after the incident, police and elite forces of the police and the military cordoned off the area in and around Qurtuba School and College, where they militants were believed to have hid.
Heavy gunfire was reported from the private college. Security forces scoured the college premises for the militants, even conducting a room-by-room sweep, but did not find the militants.
Shah categorised the incident as “sectarian violence.”
A police official told The Express Tribune that hand grenades were found “attached to the body of the dead militant.” An eyewitness told The Express Tribune that, “The militant who was gunned down had six hand grenades attached to his body.” Bomb disposal squad defused the grenades.
Meanwhile two hand grenades were recovered from the site where militants had attacked a police van.
Police had taken into custody the body of the dead militant. “The body is of a man of around 26 years of age, it seems that he recently shaved,” the police official added.
Sources said that the police in DI Khan had been receiving threats from militant factions after an attack on the DPO’s office earlier this month by a group of suicide bombers which killed four people and damaged the building. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan had claimed responsibility for that attack. Police sources said that there was high possibility that one of the two militants involved in Saturday’s attack was a suicide bomber and therefore it was necessary to apprehend him alive. “The attack on the policeman could have been an attempt to kidnap the policeman,” he said.
Lately the southern districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have come under attack from militants who kidnap and kill security personnel.
Earlier, it had been reported that militants killed a policeman and after an exchange of fire had hid at a private institute in Dera Ismail Khan on Saturday.
“Firing was reported between two men and as soon as police intervened, the men hurled two hand grenades which killed a policeman,” said a police official near Qurtuba School & College. One policeman was also reportedly injured.
There were reports of a number of militants present inside the college. Eye witnesses and DIG Imtiaz Ali Shah claimed that three attackers had been hiding inside. Heavy firing was reported from the vicinity and the elite force had to be called in. They searched the college, room by room, for the militants.
Police speculated that the attack could have been instigated by suicide bombers. The body of the dead attacker had been taken into custody.
Locals said the police had asked residents of the area to remain indoors.