Exchange of fire: Four killed in Khanpur

Crackdown conducted following intelligence report about presence of militants


Muhammad Sadaqat May 04, 2016
Crackdown conducted following intelligence report about presence of militants. PHOTO: ONLINE

HARIPUR: At least four people, including three of a family, were gunned down during a search operation in Pind Gakhra village, Khanpur on Wednesday morning.

Khanpur SHO Bashir Khan told The Express Tribune they received an intelligence report about the presence of suspected militants in a house. The house belonged to Muhammad Siddique, nazim of Pind Gakhra village council.

As a result, the police and security forces jointly carried out a search operation.

“The raiding team entered Siddique’s house between 12am and 1am,” he said. “However, the residents opened fire on them, killing Sarfraz Ahmed. The deceased was part of the raiding team.”

According to Bashir, the police and security agencies responded with retaliatory fire.

“They killed Muhammad Javed, Siddique's brother,” the SHO said. “Javed’s wife Naheed Akhtar and their son, Ahmed, also lost their lives. However, Siddique and his family remained unhurt.”

As per the SHO, the police and security forces have seized weapons and a computer from the house.

When contacted by The Express Tribune, DPO Shahzad Nadeem Bukhari said Siddique has been listed under Schedule IV of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 for having links with sectarian groups. “His son, Usman, had links with groups in Afghanistan,” he said. “Siddique’s deceased nephew Ahmed also had similar links.”

According to the DPO, Ahmed had returned home recently after two-and-a-half years. “Usman has been on the run from the police and security agencies,” he said. “He had visited Afghanistan several times and maintained contacts with banned outfits.”

A case has been registered against Usman and his family members by the counter-terrorism department in Abbottabad.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 5th, 2016.

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