Gun and rocket launcher-toting militants conducted a brazen attack on a police check post late Sunday night on the outskirts of Peshawar, sparking firefights that left six policemen, including a senior officer, dead and 15 others injured.
The attack took place in the restive area of Mattani, where militants attacked the Ghaziabad and Frontier Road check posts around 10pm on Sunday. A contingent of Frontier Constabulary (FC) and police manning the post attempted to repulse the attack but met with little success.
Reinforcements from Badabher police station, led by SP Khurshid Khan and DSP Fazal-e-Mula, were sent to the check post when a second attack was mounted. Khurshid’s contingent managed to evacuate four FC personnel and three policemen seriously injured during the attack, who were later shifted to the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH).
“The militants had not retreated after their first attack was repulsed and were waiting in the darkness,” said DSP Fazal-e-Mula. A second offensive was launched when the injured officers were being taken to the hospital.
The militants set fire to the check post and at least four police vehicles, including S P Khurshid’s official double cabin, the DSP’s double cabin, a private car used by police and an armoured car before leaving the area. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
“S P Khurshid with his gunman Inayat and three other FC personnel were inside the check post while the rest of the contingent was outside when police came under attack,” Fazal-e-Mula said, adding that the militants blew up a wall of the check post, entered the building through an opening created by the blast and threw homemade bombs inside the post, leaving five people in the building seriously injured.
Khurshid, his gunman Inayat and three others were found dead inside the building after the militants had retreated. Around 10 homemade bombs were also found at the check post on Monday, which were defused by the Bomb Disposal Squad.
Rasool Khan, an FC head constable, who had been injured and shifted to the LRH, also passed away in the hospital, pushing the death toll to six. The funeral prayers for the six men were offered on Monday with the K-P chief minister among other high-level government officials in attendance.
The dead have been identified as S P Khurshid Khan, his gunman Inayatur Rehman, Mayar Afridi (FC), Hukam Khan (FC) and Rashool Khan (FC) one corpse remain unidentified.
At a high-level meeting of Peshawar police at the Central Police Offices, the militants’ modus operandi and the police response was thoroughly reviewed and various instructions were issued in this connection.
Provincial Police Officer Muhammad Akbar Khan Hoti directed high-ranking police officers in Peshawar to boost their intelligence network and preempt such incidents in the future.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 16th, 2012.