PESHAWAR: Six suspects were arrested on Tuesday from the jurisdictions of Daudzai and Khazana police stations on the outskirts of the city.
The operation was carried out in wake of the killing of a polio worker in Khazana. A police official said thousands of internally displaced persons (IDP) and Afghan refugees reside in camps in the area, making it easy for terrorists to seek refuge amidst them.
“We have arrested six people and recovered four TT pistols, a shotgun and an automatic AK-47 rifle from their possession,” said the police official, adding that hundreds of policemen took part in the search operation which was conducted in more than 16 villages.
“We initially arrested more than four dozen people during the operation. They were taken to two police stations, but were later released by investigation teams. Only six of them remain in our custody now.”
The police official said the purpose of the operation was to make the presence of law enforcement agencies felt in the area and keep a check on outsiders living among residents as IDPs.
“IDPs from Bajaur, Mohmand, and even Waziristan and Khyber agencies are residing in this area. So we are faced with a really difficult situation,” he said, adding that there were thousands of Afghan refugees who too were residing there for the past three decades.
“We received reports that in the past many individuals living in the area refused to vaccinate their children, but this is the first incident in which a polio worker was targeted and killed. Militants have a strong presence in the area and this is evident from the target killings of pro-government tribal elders.”
Published in The Express Tribune, December 26th, 2012.