Gunmen attack army camp, kill seven

By AFP
Published: July 9, 2012

Army soldiers gather after an attack on an army camp in Wazirabad, some 180 kilometres southeast of the capital Islamabad, on July 9, 2012. PHOTO: AFP

GUJRAT: Gunmen killed seven security personnel at an army camp close to Islamabad on Monday, officials said, hours after a protest march against the resumption of Nato supply convoys passed through the area.

The encampment was attacked from a bridge over the river Chenab, close to the industrial city of Wazirabad, less than 150 kilometres (100 miles) southeast of the capital.

Hours earlier, thousands from the Defence Council of Pakistan coalition of right-wing and hardline militant groups crossed the bridge on a “long march” from Lahore to Islamabad to protest against the reopening of Nato supply routes to Afghanistan.

Pakistan is battling an militant insurgency in its lawless northwest tribal region, but attacks in the area of Monday’s incident, in the prosperous and generally peaceful province of Punjab, are unusual.

“At least seven security personnel including a police official embraced shahadat (martyrdom) and five others were injured due to firing by unknown assailants near Wazirabad,” the military said in a statement.

A military rescue party had camped by the Chenab to look for the body of a pilot missing in a helicopter crash in May, the statement said, and the camp came under attack from a bridge.

“The exact number of attackers is not known but they came by motorbike and sprayed bullets on the troops from the bridge,” a senior security official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

“It is highly likely that the attackers belonged to a banned religious outfit, which is a hand in glove with Taliban.”

The official added: “Nobody has so far claimed responsibility of the attack but if we follow the pattern of the attack, it looks similar to assaults that these outfits have been carrying out in different cities.”

The convoy of thousands travelling by bus, truck and car with the protest march stopped for the night in the town of Gujrat, across the river Chenab from Wazirabad, and they were expected to reach Islamabad on Monday afternoon.

The Defence Council of Pakistan bitterly opposes the country’s “war on terror” alliance with Washington and the reopening of overland routes for trucks supplying Nato troops fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The prime minister’s adviser on interior affairs Rehman Malik said Sunday an elaborate security plan had been put in place for the march, involving four surveillance helicopters and closed-circuit cameras to monitor proceedings.

Pakistan reopened its roads to Nato convoys last week after closing them in protest at a US air raid that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November.

The air raid plunged ties between the Islamabad and the United States, already shaky after the US raid that found and killed Osama bin Laden in a Pakistani garrison town in May 2011, to a new low.

After months of negotiations, a rapprochement was achieved when US Secretary of State said sorry for the deaths in the air raid.

Reader Comments (50)

  • Mj
    Jul 9, 2012 - 11:41AM

    Shameful. Will the DPC protest against these deaths? I doubt it as it was most probably done by a member party of the group. The army needs to take strict action against the culprits.

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  • Supressed, Opressed, Depressed
    Jul 9, 2012 - 12:01PM

    “prosperous and generally peaceful province of Punjab”

    thats going a bit too far dont you think?

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  • sars
    Jul 9, 2012 - 12:15PM

    absolutely inhuman. The more these sort of attacks are carried out brazenly , without any fear of punishment, the more i am turning in favour of drone strikes, at least they hit the target some of the time.

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  • Voice of Gilgit
    Jul 9, 2012 - 12:15PM

    So sad , is it a conspiracy against PDC protest or outcome of Gov decision to reopen NATO route?

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  • Jul 9, 2012 - 12:33PM

    Strange! how ET is trying to associate attackers with DPC

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  • Sonya
    Jul 9, 2012 - 12:41PM

    Weren’t DPC stayed overnight in Gujrat, the place this incident took place? There are reports the marchers are carrying weapons.

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  • Sajid
    Jul 9, 2012 - 12:49PM

    Now who will say sorry for this?

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  • Pagall
    Jul 9, 2012 - 12:55PM

    @ Mj
    What has Army done over Salala check post attack?

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  • Jat
    Jul 9, 2012 - 1:02PM

    A certain weakness is only to be expected after years of running transport companies, marriage halls and bakeries.

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  • SaQiB
    Jul 9, 2012 - 1:06PM

    ET, stop crossing ur limits…….. ur “keypad analysts” do not have any authority (infact not even the desired knowledge) for convicting anyone…. if u do not know who it really was, stop putting it towards DPC…………… this is the most absurd news i have heard….. just because DPC caravan was crossing from the same place doesn’t mean they were the attackers………..

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  • Aak
    Jul 9, 2012 - 1:27PM

    First ‘possible’ gift by NATO after resumption of supplies,

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  • A J Khan
    Jul 9, 2012 - 1:38PM

    A sad event. Some heads should be rolled sumarily.

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  • Iftikhar-ur-Rehman
    Jul 9, 2012 - 1:47PM

    Why wasn’t the perimeter of the camp properly secured knowing that TTP BEASTS are in for kill!!!

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  • Jul 9, 2012 - 1:52PM

    I m no fan of DPC but the way ET has insinuated the involvement of DPC in this attack is ridiculous.

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  • Young Doctors Association
    Jul 9, 2012 - 1:55PM

    Punjab Government has failed in maintaining Law and Order in the Province. The much acclaimed Law and Order situation stands exposed. The provincial government has failed in ts constitutional responsibility. He looks a lot brave when he orders his police to humilate and harass the doctors. Today he along with his MR Sana Ullah Rana, the defender of terrorists are not visible.

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  • Fugitive
    Jul 9, 2012 - 2:00PM

    @Aak:
    You mean to say it was a drone attack? Common sense is a very rare sense!

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  • Truth bites
    Jul 9, 2012 - 2:08PM

    Whoever has done it: please say sorry and we will forgive you. You don’t have to stop killing civilians in the meantime, preferably in north waziristan.

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  • Mohd Butt
    Jul 9, 2012 - 2:09PM

    Where they on pleasure party! Had they forgotten what they are? Still to mind them they must be awak and alert all the time at all the places even in Pakistan. Had Pakistani enemy not made them realized they are target of them at all the place and all the time.
    Brother get alert and don’t give us negative surprises. We love you all.

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  • Hamad
    Jul 9, 2012 - 2:20PM

    AFP is spreading wrong information. the attack took place around 5:30 in the mroning. even at that time the rally has not started for Islamabad. ET should check the report before publishing it

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  • Hassan
    Jul 9, 2012 - 2:25PM

    @Mohd Butt
    With due respect, those soldiers were on a camp to find dead body of a pilot of a helicopter that had crashed few weeks ago. They were not on a anti terrorist mission.

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  • Aak
    Jul 9, 2012 - 2:29PM

    @Fugitive,
    Most of ET readers jumps directly on ‘comments’ section after reading the ‘headline’, I never thought of?

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  • Hatu
    Jul 9, 2012 - 2:44PM

    The future of Pakistan is in the hands of Taliban, who have hijacked Islam.

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  • Adeel Ahmed
    Jul 9, 2012 - 2:45PM

    Give ET a break guys, the source of this news is AFP. Interestingly, a relevant item appeared in today’s ET: http://tribune.com.pk/story/405655/cost-of-foreign-media-temptations/

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  • Amir Wayn
    Jul 9, 2012 - 3:05PM

    This is definately NOT DPC. This is a planned attack to create confusion

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  • Fahim Alavi
    Jul 9, 2012 - 3:12PM

    Shall Pakistan army stop the supplies to DPC and militant outfits for several months ?

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  • Syed Hasan Rizvi
    Jul 9, 2012 - 3:19PM

    Waiting for a suo-moto notice against DPC and if they don’t show-up then they should be charged with contempt of court as well!

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  • Hi There
    Jul 9, 2012 - 3:22PM

    Didn’t the intelligence report published yesterday on ET warn of attacks on camps?

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  • dv sikka
    Jul 9, 2012 - 3:25PM

    This is deplorable. Pakistan will have to learn to live peacefully within itself. This should be the highest priority of its political leaders and mullahs. In a democracy people must sort out their differences by dialogue and not by killing innocent men in uniform. These people are there to defend you. It is time for Pakistani intelligencia to please wake up and make Pakistan a peaceful, peace loving and consequently a prosperous country. Killing of innocent people hurts.

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  • smj
    Jul 9, 2012 - 3:33PM

    anyone demanding apology?

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  • Wtf
    Jul 9, 2012 - 5:00PM

    Pakistan needs to pull out of the war

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  • Indian
    Jul 9, 2012 - 5:27PM

    Its not that express tribune is linking this attack on DPC. Its from the news agency AFP. The same news is circulating at every news site in India.
    Rather you should be proud to have such a balanced newspaper in your country.And please for god sake stop ET criticism over this issue.

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  • Ch Allah Daad
    Jul 9, 2012 - 5:43PM

    Terrorists do not need guise of DPC to stage a caravan and kill our soldiers. These terrorists are everywhere and their agenda is to take over Pakistan. Only our generals and judges cannot see them.

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  • Sky
    Jul 9, 2012 - 5:44PM

    Rehman Malik said Sunday an elaborate security plan had been put in place for the march, involving four surveillance helicopters and closed-circuit cameras to monitor proceedings.

    So what do the cameras show?

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  • Zeeshan Sheikh
    Jul 9, 2012 - 6:24PM

    ET is showing her true Propoganda colors. shame

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  • Ali
    Jul 9, 2012 - 6:58PM

    The love of US will diminish us one day.

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  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Jul 9, 2012 - 7:04PM

    Once Yahiha khan had said that bbc is bitter than Indian army so I smell now in some of the comments above about ET . It’s a good sign . The War on terror has to be won for the world peace at any cost .

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  • Parvez
    Jul 9, 2012 - 11:49PM

    …..and yet we do nothing about the millitant madrassas and their sponsors.

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  • saleem
    Jul 10, 2012 - 12:53AM

    ET has used the word , Gunmen , not Islam, islamist, Jihadis, Dafan Council Jamaat islami , Ahle sunat,. We closed the NATO supply for 7 months for the death of 24 soldiers . Now what are we going to close All the madrasas or blame it on yahood, hinood and nasara

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  • saeed
    Jul 10, 2012 - 2:40AM

    Army and security agencies should out source their security to India.
    How come they showed up and killed and vanished. Start from Attack on Sri lanka team ,Attacker on foot not on tank roaming around the roundabout than killed the security persons and just walk away in busty street of Lahore .

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  • Imran Con
    Jul 10, 2012 - 3:03AM

    Anyone who whines about DPC having implied involvement should instead look at what makes up DPC. Anyone with a brain would have to look at them. They are not all peaceful religious parties without a history of attacks on your fellow Muslims. You think you can get that many of them in a general area and not have at least a small minority of them contemplating attacks?
    That’s what you call forced blind ignorance to your surroundings. Your passing them off as peace lovers is one thing that got those soldiers killed. If you really cared you’d want someone to look into it instead of forgetting what makes up DPC’s past in the form of who is involved in that alliance and writing it off.
    Guess what? Just because you dislike the US/NATO, it doesn’t make DPC angels that wouldn’t harm a soul. You just have to remember their speeches when the alliance was first making itself known to know that they would kill Pakistani’s and justify it by saying it’s due to their “jihad” against US/NATO and anyone who works with them. Anyone who works with them: every single one of your government workers, including your military and civilians such as truck drivers and humanitarian workers. That also branches out to anyone who is benefiting from aid which includes sectors such as education and human rights. It also includes “you” the one who isn’t literally taking up arms against it. They don’t value your opinion. They only care about their own and just how far your lives will stretch as fodder for their cause.

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  • Pollack
    Jul 10, 2012 - 7:58AM

    @Ali:
    “The love of US will diminish us one day”

    Love or not, it looks like you will diminish. US has nothing to do with that.

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  • Shah
    Jul 10, 2012 - 6:30PM

    @Pagall:
    yeah first the foreigners are killing us…whre we cant really respond as our politicians and We as an institution are not that strong…
    Now our own people will kill us…..whos side you wanna take

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  • Shah
    Jul 10, 2012 - 6:35PM

    @smj:

    pretty sad..that you take this incident as a joke..THESE people who attacked were not foreigners ..they were PAKISTANIS..Recommend

  • Anwar
    Jul 10, 2012 - 7:47PM

    Note to Pakistan Military:
    Pakistan as a nation spends billions of rupees to ensure that the nation is safe from attack. The nation also tightens its own belt to ensure that its soldiers have nothing wanting in terms of both equipment and training. Having said that, I am disappointed that despite possessing guns and ammo, the soldiers were mowed down and did nothing in retaliation. The same happened in Salala. Can anyone tell us what is happening?

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  • Kay
    Jul 11, 2012 - 12:16AM

    Until now no one is asking for an apology from god for killing our 100 soldiers in Siachen Avalanche.why we get angry when america kill our soldiers.

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  • Ali Wali
    Jul 11, 2012 - 12:22AM

    @SaQiB: Groups in DPC have history of attacking Pak Army targets.Recommend

  • Maestro96
    Jul 11, 2012 - 1:16AM

    Seek apology from Taliban!

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  • Amjad
    Jul 11, 2012 - 6:55AM

    @Young Doctors Association: Why would you bring doctors politics into a story about anti state criminals supported by India via Afghanistan killing Pakistani soldiers on a rescue mission? We all know the Punjab is the safest and best run province in the federation and this attack is unusual for Punjab. Maybe security will have to be strengthening for the military in Punjab too but this is a Federal issue. By the way, the majority of Pakistanis were not at all supportive of the black mailing techniques of the young doctors.

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  • Mr. Honest
    Jul 11, 2012 - 11:43AM

    Kiyani and the generals should just request an apology from TTP for killing Pakistani soldiers. Then khar should have a photo shoot with them at a third location. That would do. No big deal!

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  • Akhtar Mengal
    Jul 11, 2012 - 4:55PM

    @Jat:
    Have some respect for your country and its Army who are sacrificing their lives everyday to keep terrorists from ravaging our country while our politicians loot us to no end, you have no idea of the circumstances that this situation may have took place in. With Zaradari and associates taking up all the money how else should the Army fund itself? Recommend

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