DERA ISMAIL KHAN: While Taliban militants managed to escape, residents of Dera Ismail Khan remained locked up in their homes on Tuesday.
A curfew was placed in the city after the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s ambush on DI Khan’s Central Prison, which resulted in the escape of at least 248 prisoners late Monday night.
Residents said it was the most horrific incident they had witnessed in living memory. Panicked locals were seen rushing towards their homes and other safe areas. To add to the fear, the city was engulfed in darkness as electricity went out in most parts of the city during the three-hour assault.
Deputy Commissioner Amir Khattak announced the imposition of the curfew and told the media to inform residents not to leave their homes. Meanwhile, helicopters patrolled the area and security forces launched a search operation.
“I spent the whole night on the road as my house is close to the central jail,” said Nasirullah Khan, visibly relieved that his family was safe.
“I had to go the bazaar to buy iftar, but I cannot step out because of the curfew,” said Farooq Shah, another resident. “Security forces did not do anything last night. Terrorists broke into the jail and the prisoners escaped. What is the benefit of a search operation now?” Shah questioned.
Newspapers could not be published and many journalists spent the night in their offices. Sub editor of daily Aitidal, Saifullah Khan said his paper could not be printed on Tuesday because of the curfew. He had been in office since Monday.
Roads were deserted throughout the day with near-zero attendance at educational institutes and government offices, while all routes to and from the city were sealed. The curfew was lifted on Tuesday evening.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 31st, 2013.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ