A senior anti-terrorism police officer was shot dead by unidentified gunmen near his house in Satellite Town in Quetta on Tuesday morning. In a separate incident, the office of the deputy commissioner of Pangjur was attacked with explosives.
According to Deputy Inspector General (DIG-Operations) Qazi Wahid, SSP Crime Investigation Department (CID) Shahnawaz Khan left his house located in block-III for a routine morning walk when two assailants on a motorbike opened fire at him near the Badech Bridge close to his residence. He received multiple bullet wounds and died on the spot. The attackers fled the scene after committing the crime. A heavy contingent of police and security forces reached the spot and cordoned off the area.
The body was shifted to Sandeman Hospital in Quetta where doctors pronounced him dead upon arrival. The victim received 12 bullets in the upper torso that caused his instant death, doctors said.
“Shahnawaz Khan offered Fajr prayers and left the house for a routine morning walk,” relatives told the police.
“Khan was part of the CID team investigating several high-profile cases. The police will conduct an in-depth investigation into his murder,” Inspector General Balochistan Rao Muhammad Amin Hashim told reporters.
According to sources, Khan was deputy head of Balochistan’s CID, which works exclusively on cases dealing with terrorism and sectarian violence.
DIG Investigation Hamid Shakil said Khan received threats from different militant groups. However, he did not disclose names of these groups.
“Several senior police officers received threats to their lives in recent weeks by banned outfits,” a senior officer said on condition of anonymity. “A banned religious group is constantly threatening after some suspects were killed and some were arrested,” he added. The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) spokesperson Abu Bakar Sadiq Jhangvi accepted responsibility for the death of CID official Khan, adding that the LeJ will not spare anyone who kills their members.
Funeral prayers for the slain police officer were offered in Police Line Quetta in the presence of IG Balochistan, Quetta Commissioner Qambar Dashti and other senior officials. A team of senior police officers has been formed to investigate the incident.
DC Panjgur’s office targeted
The office of the deputy commissioner of Panjgur district in West Balochistan was targeted via a remote controlled bomb on Tuesday. Unidentified assailants planted the explosive device on a motorcycle and parked it on the premises’ parking lot, Assistant Commissioner Yunus Baloch said. “Three vehicles and several motorcycles were damaged in the explosion. The windowpanes of the office and nearby buildings smashed on impact,” Baloch added.
However, no loss of life was reported in the blast. Balochistan Levies personnel and security forces cordoned off the area and launched an investigation. “The blast appeared to be a warning rather than an attempt to kill government officials,” a senior investigator claimed on condition of anonymity. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 9th, 2012.