Suspected militants managed to free two of their accomplices from police custody after killing three policemen.
The two militants were brought to Khyber College of Dentistry for a medical examination, standard procedure for suspects arrested in several crimes, but were intercepted by others at the gate of University of Peshawar (UoP) campus.
The militants who were freed belong to Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and have been identified as Nadeem Abbas and Zaki. Both of them face several charges of terrorism. Officials said Abbas is a high-profile militant.
Sources said Abbas and Zaki were taken for dental checkup on a taxi and while the policemen were waiting to get a cab back at the main gate of the university campus, the militants approached them in two vehicles and escaped with their accomplices after shooting three policemen.
The dead police officers include Tariq, Hussain Jaffer and Rais.
Talking to reporters at the funeral of the slain cops, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Senior Minister Bashir Ahmed Bilour said the matter will be “thoroughly investigated”. Bilour said that it needs to be seen who the doctor was who referred such dangerous criminals for a checkup without the police and jail high-ups being informed.
City Police Chief Imtiaz Altaf while talking to reporters hinted at criminal connivance and negligence in the escape of the militants.
“The matter should have been brought to the attention of city police before the terrorists were taken outside the jail,” Altaf said. He said that the police as well as jail authorities could be involved in facilitating the escape so a judicial inquiry of the matter should be carried out.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 13th, 2011.
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