1,210 police personnel killed in K-P since 2006

Official says lone policemen have become easier targets

Official says lone policemen have become easier targets. DESIGN: NABEEL KHAN

PESHAWAR: At least 1,210 personnel of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa police have been killed in the war against militancy that has plagued the province with an iron grip since 2006.

Between then and now, the largest number of police officials have died in Peshawar. According to data available with The Express Tribune at least 340 personnel have lost their lives in the city during this period. This is followed by Swat where 123 police officials have died. In Bannu, 120 personnel have lost their lives while 100 others have died in DI Khan till July 21.

Until 2008, Swat was on the top of the list but has now been pushed down with the passage of time as peace gradually returns to the district.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, a police official said Peshawar as a front line district has been bearing the brunt of the war against militancy. According to him, around 50% of terrorist attacks have been taking place in the city for the past several years.

“This is evident from the fact that the total number of policemen slain in Peshawar is 340 while many more have been injured,” he said. “Over the years, roadside and suicide attacks at the police were the most favoured means used by terrorists. But these have been replaced with target killings recently.”

He said criminals would previously go for hardened targets and attacked buildings but with the passage of time, their tactics have changed.

“They go for easier and softer targets now,” he said. “A lone policeman going about his daily business is their favourite target now since he will be taken by surprise and not be able to defend himself.”

The breakdown

The entire province has suffered under the wrath of militancy. At least 67 police officials have been killed in Mardan, 63 in Charsadda, 59 in Hangu, 43 in Kohat, 41 in Swabi, 36 in Lakki Marwat, 31 in Lower Dir, 30 in Buner, 28 in Upper Dir, 27 in Shangla, 25 in Nowshera, 22 in Tank, 21 in Mansehra, 10 in Karak, six in Chitral, five in Haripur, five in Torghar, four in Abbottabad, four in Battagram and none from Kohistan.

Rendering sacrifices

“I would like to pay tribute to these policemen who are still doing their jobs without any interruption in the face of such challenges,” the official said. He added the police force had sacrificed its best men in war against militancy ranging from police constables to high-ranking officials, including AIGs,” he said.

As per the official, terrorist attacks had resulted in the maximum number of deaths of the police as well as of civilians this year.  “This can be seen as a real success for terrorists even though there has been a decline in the total number of attacks this year,” he stated.

Until June 6, around 96 people have been killed in terrorist attacks as compared to 59 people who were killed in the corresponding period last year.

The police casualty figure also increased from 19 dead and 38 injured in the corresponding period of 2015 to 29 dead and 44 injured this year.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th, 2016.


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