Anti-terror cop escapes suicide attack

The injured guards were driven to the Sheikh Zayed Hospital

Kashif Zafar December 31, 2016

BAHAWALPUR: A suicide attack targeting a counterterrorism police official injured two policemen in a southern Punjab district on Friday. Chaudhry Ashraf, the in-charge of the Counter-Terrorism Department in Rahim Yar Khan, remained safe in the bombing.

Ashraf was returning after offering Friday congregation prayers at a mosque in Shafi Town when his guards – Nadeem and Qamar Abbasi – spotted a suspicious person clad in burqa, according to police.

As the two guards approached the suspect for body search, he detonated the explosives strapped to his body, police added. Nadeem and Qamar were wounded in the blast, while Ashraf remained safe as he was inside his bullet-proof car.

The injured guards were driven to the Sheikh Zayed Hospital as army, Rangers and police personnel threw a security cordon around the site. A subsequent search operation in the area didn’t yield any arrests.

“Investigators have recovered the severed head and limbs of the suicide bomber,” Regional Police Officer Muhammad Idrees told journalists. “The bomber will be identified soon,” he added. “The CTD, police and other law enforcement agencies have successfully thwarted several terrorist attacks.”

After the bombing, security in neighbouring Bahawalpur and Bahawalnagar has been put on high alert. Deployment of police at the city’s mosques, Imambargahs, and other locations has been increased and snap checking of vehicles has been started.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 31st, 2016.


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