PESHAWAR: A kidnapping attempt was made on the district revenue officer of Bannu, Sajid Nawaz, when militants intercepted his car on Kohat Road near Dawazgai while he was going to Peshawar on Tuesday.
The police reached the crime scene in time and exchanged fire with the militants associated with the Taliban, providing Nawaz an opportunity to escape unhurt from captivity. But Nawaz’s driver Umar Jan and his gunmen Rashid were taken hostage.
The DRO later approached a nearby checkpoint of the Mattani police.
Mattani Police DSP Fazal-e-Mula told The Express Tribune that police engaged in a hour-long gun battle, in which their armoured personnel carrier was hit after militants fired a rocket. No police personnel died in the incident.
An FIR was registered in Mattani police station after efforts to locate Jan and Rashid failed. There were rumours that they might have escaped as well, but they remain unconfirmed.
Police suggested that the DRO was the real target. In another incident, militants intercepted a car on Kohat Road and kidnapped a man named Ijaz Rafiq and his driver Shafiq Mehmood.
In a separate case of kidnapping on the same road, Yousaf Haider and his driver Nadeem Sadiqi were abducted. Their cars were found abandoned by a roadside. Haider is reported to be working at mobile phone service provider Telenor.
“We launched a search operation in the area after the militants retreated towards Akka Khel, Khyber Agency, but found nothing,” Mula said.
An FIR was registered against Tehreek-e-Taliban Adezai, a local militant group suspected to be behind the kidnappings.
Vehicles abandoned by the roadside were shifted to the Mattani police station.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 20th, 2012.
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