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KARACHI: A Police Qaumi Razakar (PQR) officer was shot dead and another wounded in yet another attack claimed by Ansarul Sharia Pakistan (ASP) on the city’s outskirts on Thursday morning, officials said.

They added that Jamshed Ahmed, 42, and Gulzar, 30, were on their way home after their volunteer work at a police post on the Northern Bypass within the jurisdiction of the SITE Superhighway industrial police when four suspects riding two motorcycles opened fire on them and sped away.

They sustained critical bullet wounds and were transported to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, where Jamshed died during treatment, said police surgeon Dr Aijaz Khokhar.

Ansarul Sharia Pakistan claims responsibility

The wounded victim, Gulzar, was shifted to a private hospital after first aid where his condition was stated to be critical.

The police officials said the deadly attack on the PQR personnel appeared to be part of the trend of targeted killing of policemen in the metropolis recently as such volunteers also wore police uniform.

“The assailants threw pamphlets there before fleeing,” said the officer in charge of the Transnational Terrorism Intelligence Group of the police’s Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD), Raja Umar Khattab.

Mr Khattab added that the recently established militant outfit, Ansarul Sharia Pakistan, had claimed responsibility for the attack on the two PQR personnel on the Northern Bypass.

The officer said the group did not specify any reason for particularly targeting the PQR men.

This was the third time that this militant outfit had claimed such responsibility through pamphlets. Previously, the same group had thrown pamphlets after killing a DSP Traffic and his official driver in Azizabad last Friday. Earlier, in June, the gunmen had also thrown pamphlets after the targeted killing of four policemen in the SITE area.

Same weapons used

Mr Khattab said that investigators collected six spent bullet casings fired from 9mm pistols and 30-bore pistol from the crime scene. They were sent to the police’s forensic division, he said.

“Forensic test confirmed that the same weapons were used in the targeted killing of the two policemen and wounding another within the jurisdiction of New Town police and the murder of a PQR [officer] within jurisdiction of Sharea Faisal police earlier,” disclosed the CTD official.

Assistant Sub-Inspector Iftikhar, 50, and head constable Raja Younus, 47, were shot dead while head constable Shahenshah, 45, sustained critical bullet wounds when the gunmen opened indiscriminate fire on them in New Town area on May 21.

The PQR officer, Ali Nawaz, was gunned down within the Sharea Faisal police station’s jurisdiction on Feb 21.

12 policemen killed

As many as 12 police officials had been gunned down in the East and West zones of the police during the past four months.

The CTD officials believed that apart from ASP, they also suspected involvement of the Mufti Shakir-led Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan faction behind the recent wave of terror attacks.

Meanwhile, Malir SSP Rao Anwar said the incident occurred around 100 yards away from the police post. He claimed two policemen at the post resorted to firing but the suspects managed to escape.

The officer said that two suspects wore shirt and trousers and had covered their faces with handkerchiefs. He said the condition of the injured PQR officer was out of danger after being operated upon.

Karachi police chief Ghulam Qadir Thebo told Dawn that ASP tended to hit ‘soft targets’ wherever they found them.

Mr Thebo said that CTD, Rangers and intelligence agencies were working against this new militant outfit during the last few months but admitted that so far, no breakthrough had been achieved.

Policeman killed in encounter

Separately, on Thursday evening a police constable was shot dead in an encounter in the Ferozabad area, police and hospital officials said.

They added that two suspects riding a motorcycle were looting a family travelling in a car on Tipu Sultan Road signal when the policeman, Rehmatullah, 40, passing through the area tried to get hold of one of the suspects. However, the suspects opened fire on him and fled.

The wounded policeman was taken to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, where doctors pronounced him dead on arrival, said Dr Seemin Jamali, executive director of the JPMC. She said the constable sustained a gunshot wound in the head.

Sources said the location where the crime took place was a hotspot for street crimes.

Sindh IGP A.D. Khowaja took notice of the killing of the constable in the encounter and sought a report from the DIG East.

Published in Dawn, August 18th, 2017