Two suspects possibly involved in picket attack

Police say new information offered by review of additional CCTV footages of the attack


Imran Asghar February 25, 2019
PHOTO: FILE

RAWALPINDI: Contrary to initial information, police have now discovered that more suspects could have been involved in the February 21 attack on a police picket in Rawalpindi which left one police constable dead and injured five others.

Initial accounts from witnesses and the injured police officers had stated that one attacker, on foot, had shot at policemen manning a picket at the Sadiqabad Chowk on Thursday, February 21. The attack left four police officers including Sub-inspector (SI) Qamar Sadiq, SI Muhammad Akram, Constable Zafraan, Sajid Muhammad and Shehzad were injured along with passerby Muhammad Naseem.

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A sketch of the suspect, who is believed to be 25-26 years of age, was also developed using footage from closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras.

However, new footage of the attack from additional CCTV cameras has given rise to the suspicion that at least two people could have been involved in the attack.

The CCTV footage, both coloured and black and white, shows two suspects, who appear to be between the 20-28-years-of-age.

The suspect who had shot at the cops was seen wearing a black shalwar-kameez with a blue jacket while the other suspect was wearing light blue jeans and a red jacket.

Police sources disclosed that after attacking the picket, the suspects can be seen disappearing into nearby streets.

This CCTV footage has also been shown to the different suspects in jail to identify the attackers and to trace their whereabouts.

Police sources further said that officials have completed geofencing of attack site and are reviewing data from the exercise.

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On Thursday, at least one suspect was seen walking up to the picket from Haji Chowk. Upon being stopped for a search, he pulled out guns in each hand and opened fire at the policemen there. As a result of the attack, 40-year-old Constable Zafraan was shot thrice in the stomach and chest.

All the injured were rushed to the hospital for treatment but Zafraan succumbed to his injuries.

A case was registered at the Sadiqabad police station for the attack on Friday with Section VII of the Anti-Terror Act 1999 along with charges of attempt to murder included in it. Punjab IGP Amjad Javed Saleemi had claimed that the attack did not appear to be an act of terrorism, but had added that investigations into the case were still under way.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 25th, 2019.

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