QUETTA: Terrorist violence continued unabated on Thursday — a day after four suicide bombers struck in Peshawar and Mohmand tribal district. Eight people, among them three armymen and four policemen, were killed in separate bomb and gun attacks in Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, hours before a suicide bomber wreaked carnage at the shrine of a popular Sufi saint in Sindh.
Three servicemen, including a captain, were killed when terrorists detonated a bomb near a military convoy in the restive Awaran district of Balochistan. And four policemen and a civilian died in a brazen attack on a police van in the Dera Ismail Khan city of K-P.
Bloodbath at Sehwan shrine
The terrorists triggered the improvised explosive device planted by a roadside when the military convoy drove past the Korak Dolag area of Awaran’s Jhao tehsil, according to official sources. The bomb ripped through one of the vehicles in the convoy, killing three armymen on board and injuring their two colleagues.
The military confirmed the deadly attack in Awaran. “Three soldiers — Captain Taha and two sepoys — embraced Shahadat (martyrdom) and two others [were] injured,” the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement. The fallen sepoys have been identified as Kamran Satti and Mehtar Jan. The injured soldiers, identified as Sepoy Amanullah and Sepoy Ashiq, were subsequently driven to a nearby health facility.
Balochistan Governor Muhammad Khan Achakzai, Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri denounced the deadly attack and paid rich tribute to the slain servicemen for sacrificing their lives for the defence of the country. They called it a cowardly attack and said that the elements involved in such attacks deserved no mercy.
The chief minister directed the law enforcement agencies and other concerned officials to take all possible steps to bring the elements involved in terrorist attacks to justice.
Meanwhile, gunmen ambushed a police van at the Mission Square, DI Khan city, killing four policemen and a civilian and injuring four others, according to DPO Yasir Afridi. “The gunmen, armed with AK-47 assault rifles and hand grenades, attacked the van at a gas station where it was refuelling,” he added. “Four policemen, including ASI Rehmatullah Khan, and a gas station employee were killed and four others wounded in the attack.”
The injured were ferried to the District Headquarters Hospital where medics said two of them were in a critical condition. The attackers also snatched the official weapons of the slain policemen before fleeing the scene on two motorcycles. A subsequent search operation in the area didn’t yield any arrests.
Army chief vows revenge
Over in Swat, counterterrorism police arrested a ‘key militant’ in a raid on Thursday. The militant, identified as Khursheed was arrested by the Counter Terrorism Department of police in the Shamozo area of Barokit tehsil, according to an official.
“Khursheed, who belongs to Shah Dehrai village of Kabal tehsil, had ties with the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Swat chapter,” the official said, adding that the militant was involved in anti-state activities when the Taliban had unleashed a reign of terror in the region.
He was wanted for a 2008 attack on the Kabal police station. “The militant has been shifted to an undisclosed location for interrogation.” the official added. (With additional reporting by Ramzan Seemab in DI Khan and Shehzad Khan in Swat)
Published in The Express Tribune, February 17th, 2017.
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