ISLAMABAD: A wildlife guard was shot dead by unidentified people in the Margalla Hills National Park on Saturday.

The incident took place near Trail-6 behind Faisal Masjid, said the capital police. The victim was identified as Safeer Hussain.

According to Chairman Islamabad Wildlife Management Board Aneesur Rehman, a team of guards was patrolling the area when they spotted a group of villagers grazing goats there.

The guards forced the villagers to move their animals down the hilly area. On their way down, someone opened fire on the guards from an unknown location, Mr Rehman said, adding that a bullet hit Mr Hussain in the head, killing him on the spot.

Senior member of the board Waqar Zakaria, who visited the spot, told Dawn that there was information about the presence of poachers in the hills. In response, the seven guards launched a hunt to trace the poachers.

At a distance of about three kilometres from Faisal Masjid, a man hiding in the bushes fired at the guard from a 12-bore riffle, he added.

He said five groups of poachers had been caught in the area during the last four months. They illegally hunted wild animals and birds, including pheasants, jackals and a fox, said Mr Zakaria. The police said the reason behind the killing of the guard was yet to be known.

Published in Dawn, January 21st, 2018

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