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TAXILA: Six men dressed in the uniform of a private security company and armed with AK-47s robbed six jewellery stores in a congested market in broad daylight on Sunday.

According to Mohammad Ayub, a local office-bearer of the jewellers’ association and a councillor, six people carrying sophisticated weapons opened fire in the jewellery market.

Jewellers in the area locked their doors, but the armed men fired at the doors and broke them. They also injured a jeweller, Haris, when he attempted to resist them.

“They came all of a sudden and began firing in the air. Three of them began firing to create panic, while the other three went on a robbery spree,” said shopkeeper Chaudhry Haneef.

Raja Sheraz Ahmed, a former union council vice chairman and jewellers’ association office-bearer, told Dawn the men fired at showcases to break them, stole Rs1 million worth of gold ornaments and then fled on two motorcycles without registration plates.

Traders and the jewellers’ association announced a shutter-down strike soon after, and shops and markets in the city closed down to protest growing lawlessness in the city.

The affected traders later assembled on Taxila-Hattar Road and protested against the police.

The protest led to a disruption on traffic for an hour.

The protesters dispersed after negotiations between the protesters and police high-ups from Rawalpindi.

Published in Dawn, August 13th, 2018