In a fresh wave of violence to demoralise the police force, terrorists gunned down five policemen in two separate attacks in the city on Saturday.
In the first incident, which occurred in the early hours, four policemen of the Sharafi Goth police station lost their lives when their mobile came under attack on Shah Faisal Colony bridge that connects Shah Faisal Colony to Korangi. The deceased included two head constables, Ghulam Shabbir and Zulfiqar, and two constables, Afzal and Ghulam Sarwar.
Police officials reached the site and found three of the men dead, while Sarwar was in a critical condition. He was taken to the Jinnah hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.
“As per routine, the policemen were stationed on the bridge for security reasons,” said SHO Malik Amir. “It seemed that the terrorists had properly planned out the attack as they did not give a chance to retaliate. Only Sarwar, the van driver, was found taking his last breath.”
Additional IG Ghulam Qadir Thebu has constituted an investigation team to probe the incident. It is headed by East DIG Captain (retd) Tahir Naveed, while East SSP Malir, SSP Investigation, DSP, SHO and SIO of the Sharafi Goth police station are the members of the team.
The terrorists used different calibers weapons of in the attack as investigators found at least 20 empty shells of 12 bore shotgun and 9mm pistol from the crime scene.
“It was an ambush. The terrorist killed our men to demoralise the police force from carrying out action against criminal elements,” said the city’s police chief Thebu.
The law enforcers are yet to ascertain how many terrorists there were and how they managed to escape, however, they believe that terrorist elements, very likely the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), could have been behind the incident.
Members of the TTP are present in the Sharafi Goth area and its neighbourhood and have been carrying out bomb blasts and attacks on law enforcers, said the officials.
“Street criminals cannot carry out the attack of this nature. It is a major incident and street criminals do not have that sort of courage,” said DIG Naveed.
An FIR no. 166/13 under Section 302/34 and 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act was registered at the Sharafi Goth on behalf of state against unidentified persons. The funeral prayers of the victims were held at District East DIG office in the evening.
Earlier, two other policemen were killed and another one was critically wounded in June when police mobile was attacked. At that time, police pickets were being set up for security reasons in Patel Para before the funeral prayers of three Awami National Party workers, who were gunned down on Nishter Road.
Another incident occurred in PIB Colony on April 4, 2012, when unidentified motorcyclists opened fire and killed three police officials on patrol.
Police officials said the elements behind the Patel Para attack and the latest incident might be the same as the same modus operandi was used in both attacks.
“Both these attacks are similar in nature,” DIG Naveed explained. He said that the investigators would also look into similar cases to probe this attack. On January 24, DSP Kamal Khan Mangan and ASI Akbar of the Sharafi Goth police were killed in back-to-back bombings in Quaidabad. Later, some members of the TTP were arrested in this connection.
Separately, a police head constable, Riaz Khan, was killed by armed motorcyclists in Manghopir’s Kunwari Colony when he was on his way to the office of Foreign Security Cell. SHO Abdul Moeed said that terrorists elements might be behind the killing.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th, 2013.