Seven policemen guarding polio team gunned down in Karachi

Published: April 20, 2016
According to initial reports, unidentified armed men opened fire at a police mobile in Karachi's Orangi Town. PHOTO: FARAZ KHAN/ EXPRESS

According to initial reports, unidentified armed men opened fire at a police mobile in Karachi's Orangi Town. PHOTO: FARAZ KHAN/ EXPRESS

KARACHI / ISLAMABAD: At least seven police officials were killed in two separate attacks as unidentified armed men opened fire at them in Karachi’s Orangi Town on Wednesday.

The attacks took place within 600 metres (650 yards) of each other near a market, a senior police official said.

“One took place at the three policemen who were escorting a polio team, the policemen were on foot when they were attacked,” said the official, Ali Asif. “In the second incident, four policemen in a police van were targeted.”

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) splinter group Jamaatul Ahrar claimed responsibility for the attack.

Sindh Home Minister Anwer Siyal said eight armed men carried out the attack.

“The policemen sacrificed their lives to protect the polio workers,” he told a private TV channel.

Polio drive begins in Karachi, Hyderabad and Kotri tehsil

Abdul Kareem, an official in Abbasi Shaheed Hospital where the bodies were taken, also confirmed the casualties.

Following the attack, polio workers called off the vaccination drive despite the home minister’s order for it to be continued according to schedule.

A four-day polio vaccination drive was launched in all six districts of Karachi, Hyderabad and Kotri tehsil of Jamshoro on Monday.

The ‘sub-national polio supplementary immunisation campaign’ in Karachi, being supervised by the emergency operation centre (EOC) for polio, was formally launched by commissioner Asif Hyder Shah when he administered polio drops to children at a maternity home in PIB Colony.

At least 15 killed in suicide blast near polio centre in Quetta

A total of 6,200 health workers were to perform their duty in Karachi’s 188 union councils. To ensure their security, the police provided 5,000 personnel.

In January, a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a polio vaccination centre in Quetta, killing at least 15 people, mainly police, officials said.

The policemen had been gathering outside the centre to accompany polio workers on the third day of a vaccination campaign which are frequently targeted by Taliban and other militant groups in Pakistan.

Sindh CM announces reward

Moments after the attack, a high-level meeting announced Rs5million reward to the person providing information on the attackers.

The reward was announced by Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, who also directed DG Rangers General Bilal Akbar and Sindh Police IG AD Khawaja to launch a vigorous operation against the perpetrators.

“I am approving Rs5 million reward for the person who would give information about the killers,” the chief minister said, while also announcing Rs2 million for the kin of each killed policemen, and two jobs for their heirs according to their qualification.

Shah also asked the Sindh IG to continue the salaries of the fallen policemen and “count on them as if they are among your force”.

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Reader Comments (28)

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Apr 20, 2016 - 4:16PM

    We will not hear or read one word of condemnation from Taliban Khan and dark forces he is representing.Recommend

  • Anon
    Apr 20, 2016 - 4:27PM

    There is an ideology that is a 1000 years behind the times. Good luck !Recommend

  • pk
    Apr 20, 2016 - 4:44PM

    Human life has become so cheap. To save one life another is giving his own life. Easiest way to corner such incident is declaring them martyrs. After that everybody is happy, no need to find long painful solution.Recommend

    Apr 20, 2016 - 5:41PM

    My deepest condolences go out to the families of the deceased police officer. I hope the culprits are caught and punished to the fullest extent of the law.

    Ali Khan
    Digital Engagement Team, USCENTCOMRecommend

  • ahmed ali
    Apr 20, 2016 - 5:48PM

    when operation politicized result will always be like this..Agencies and LEAs busy in formation of political party Recommend

  • Pakistan Zindabad
    Apr 20, 2016 - 5:55PM

    Although Polio campaign have lot of conspiracy theories. But act of terrorism on its team is more suspicious. Why don’t government carry out a targeted operation as these crimes are on rise. Why don’t polio drops are entertained at the time of birth, or during vaccination process?Recommend

  • Brainy Bhaijan
    Apr 20, 2016 - 7:24PM

    Fruits of strategic assets policy.Recommend

  • goldconsumer
    Apr 20, 2016 - 7:37PM

    We thought zarbe azb got its results?Recommend

  • Azi
    Apr 20, 2016 - 9:26PM

    How long are we going to wait until army starts a full scale operation? These politicians lie everyday and night even in their sleep, its trusting them that has gotten us no where. But the real problem is with the people of Pakistan, they just dont care anymore if they live or die.Recommend

  • Haroon
    Apr 20, 2016 - 10:11PM

    There was a story in the international media recently that humans will soon have eradicated polio. Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria are the only countries that still have it. It seems those reports were too optimistic. Pakistan doesn’t want to let go of this dangerous disease!Recommend

  • True
    Apr 20, 2016 - 10:20PM

    Good to see that pakistan is walking on the path of progress. In come years pakistan will only be country holding the top position of polio effected people and they will be proud of it.Recommend

  • True
    Apr 20, 2016 - 10:25PM

    @Pakistan Zindabad:
    Dude polio is not a nectar which is given once. Polio drop is given upto 5 years of age so think about the rest of year. Recommend

  • Observer
    Apr 20, 2016 - 10:38PM

    Polio cases were wholly wiped out from Sindh but it were those migrants from North Waziristan and Swat who brought this virus to the area. When will the authorities stop people from jeopardizing the lives of others?Recommend

  • ahmed ali
    Apr 20, 2016 - 11:37PM

    This could have been prevented if Rangers been used against the real terror group instead of political victimization of MQM Recommend

  • Rehan Hafiz
    Apr 21, 2016 - 12:30AM

    What a pathetic nation we have turned into. Our leaders busy in juggling their way out of the Panama leaks and paving the ways to squander more. Shame on us.Recommend

  • Naila
    Apr 21, 2016 - 12:55AM

    Keep on hoping. …………. and hoping. ……….. and hoping…………Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Apr 21, 2016 - 1:07AM

    A total of 6,200 health workers were to perform their duty in Karachi’s 188 union councils. To ensure their security, the police provided 5,000 personnel.
    A waste of energy and time for the uniformed policemen to accompany the health workers The uniformed police or a military personnel is like showing ‘Red’ to the Bull. Let the polio program be offered in health clinics on a voluntary basis and without the presence of the armed police.

    Rex Minor. Recommend

  • Garibnawaz
    Apr 21, 2016 - 1:14AM

    Don’t you worry fellas. Situation in Karachi is under control of MQM.Recommend

  • p.mohamed faheem
    Apr 21, 2016 - 1:33AM

    it is shameful for both the shariff’s such valuable lives have been lost these could have been save by simply providing them bullet proof jackets are there only stupids running the securityRecommend

  • Zahid
    Apr 21, 2016 - 3:13AM

    It’s very sad news, Sindh Government responsible cause not provide equipment to save themselvesRecommend

  • brar
    Apr 21, 2016 - 4:56AM

    It is terrible every one must condemn it starting from Maulana Sheerani to Prime Minister and arrest the people like Zaid Hamid and Maulvi Mulla who propogate that polio vaccination is conspiracy against Muslims, we are living in 21st century and there is no place for such silly theories. Rest in peace brave soldiers and hope your sacrifices will not go in vain.I think all Imams are paid from exchequer and they be ordered to deliver sermons in favour of polio drops and polio drives.Recommend

  • FAZ
    Apr 21, 2016 - 9:01AM

    I think you should have checked statistics before you spewed.Recommend

  • Pakistan Zindabad
    Apr 21, 2016 - 11:26AM

    Dear Mr. Intelligent! Wish you had read my comment complete. I’d mentioned the process of vaccination which run through whole 5 years. And for your information, Polio is not a must for a 5 year old. It can be given to children age under 1. May you have children.Recommend

  • Pakistan Zindabad
    Apr 21, 2016 - 11:30AM

    Dear you are living in 21st century. Your professionals are wandering jobless. Your elite areas has no proper roads (think about the poorer one). Education, Judicial, and Police system are nightmares. Health sector is a mess. And for the development of the country you refer to (suspicious) Polio campaign? What a mediocre approach !Recommend

  • Pakistan Zindabad
    Apr 21, 2016 - 11:31AM

    @Rex Minor:
    Dear you are right. That is why it make this campaign suspicious. Why so much money and forces involve in this campaign then there are other big issues already pending.Recommend

  • Last Man Alive
    Apr 21, 2016 - 1:03PM

    Poor them.

    They come all the way from interior sind

    to make easy money in Karachi and get this, very unfortunate.Recommend

  • True
    Apr 21, 2016 - 2:41PM

    @Pakistan Zindabad:
    Mr. Phd holder i know till when the vaccinagion is given. My point was that the polio vaccine starts from just born child to upto 5 years of his/her age. And it is necessary that the child should take polio vaccine upto 5 years of age every year then only you can iradicate it how the india did.Recommend

  • True
    Apr 21, 2016 - 2:43PM

    I have seen your statistics and then only i an commenting here. Recommend

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