Armed robbers looted a branch of a private bank in the remote Kabgani village of Swabi on Thursday, but the police managed to recover the stolen valuables.
Bank Manager of a Habib Bank Limited branch in Gadoon area, Tahir Rahman told the police the incident took place at around 12:30pm. Rahman said he was almost finished with his work and was sitting inside the bank when six armed men barged into the building and overpowered the watchman, snatching his gun.
Rahman added the dacoits took away cell phones from the staff along with Rs0.6 million from the safe before escaping. Soon after, he reported the incident to the Gadoon police who rushed to the spot and launched a search operation.
DPO Swabi Mian Saeed Ahmad told journalists he directed the police to block all entry and exit points of the area. Ahmad said police also surrounded a hill where they believed the perpetrators to be hiding.
“As the police started mounting the hill, the robbers opened fire at them,” said Ahmad, claiming the police gave chase and injured one of the robbers while another died when a grenade exploded in his own hand. The rest of the robbers escaped leaving the stolen valuables behind.
The DPO said the body of the deceased robber was taken to the district headquarters hospital for autopsy but his identity could not yet be ascertained. A case filed by the bank manager has been registered at Gadoon police station against unidentified culprits.
Bank robberies are not uncommon in the district. On May 22, robbers stole at least Rs2 million from a United Bank Limited branch in Maini village while on April 2, unidentified men looted the Habib Bank, Dagai branch. On May 31, 2011, four armed robbers took away Rs2.3 million from a National Bank branch in Zarobi village.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2013.