Taxila shootout: Six die in botched rescue mission

Four kidnappers, the abducted doctor and a police official among the deceased.

Muhammad Sadaqat December 30, 2011


A doctor, four kidnappers and a police official were killed when a covert rescue mission in Taxila turned violent on Thursday.

Taxila Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Raja Tefoor said that acting on a tip off, the police launched a rescue operation in a densely populated town in Taxila to recover Dr Talal Ahmed, who was kidnapped on December 2.

He said that as the four-member police team raided the house, the kidnappers opened fire, killing the doctor, sub-inspector Raja Husnain and injuring Haripur DSP Asif Gohar. The raiding team returned fire, killing four of the abductors, while three managed to escape, the DSP added.

DSP Tefoor said the kidnappers that were killed belonged to the same family and were residents of Talokar village in Haripur. They were identified as: brothers Eijaz (26) and Babar (23), their mother Taj Bibi (53), and Eijaz’s wife Salma. Three of the accomplices that managed to flee were identified as Tanasib Khan, Ashraf and Umair, he added.

Babar, one of the killed kidnappers, was a proclaimed offender and was wanted in several cases of kidnapping for ransom, robberies and burglaries, DSP Tefoor said. He said his gang was also involved in kidnapping two children from Mang village in Haripur.

The DSP said that “although two lives were lost today, the killing of four kidnappers would considerably reduce incidences of kidnappings and robberies in Haripur, Taxila and Hasanabdal, where the gang used to operate”.

The bodies were later handed over to the heirs and the injured DSP was taken to Ayub Medical Complex Abbottabad for a surgery on his left arm, where he was shot. The police also recovered a Kalashnikov, two pistols and a hand grenade from the building.

Anger and mourning

Traders in Haripur announced a shutter-down strike, while doctors announced to observe three days of mourning by suspending all services, except emergency and indoor treatment of patients.

Dr Talal Ahmed of Yahya Welfare Complex, Haripur was kidnapped on his way home from the hospital. His family members told The Express Tribune that the kidnappers had contacted Dr Talal’s father, Muhammad Sabir, who is a businessman in Saudi Arabia, and demanded Rs30 million as ransom for his son’s release.

But Sabir refused to pay, saying that he had “left everything to Allah, who would protect his son and bring him home safely”.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 30th, 2011.


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