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KARACHI: A Senior Preventive Officer of the Customs was shot dead and a sepoy critically injured when a Customs anti-smuggling squad was ambushed by the smugglers on Tuesday [July 8] at Karora Lukh, a hilly pass near Sonmiani beach, 40 miles west of Karachi. A reinforcement of armed Customs party has been despatched to track down the smugglers. Besides, Indus Rangers and Lasbella Police have already started combing the area in search of the absconding killers.

The body of the SPO, Mr Himayat Ali Siddiqi, 37, stated to be responsible for seizure of smuggled goods in Sonmiani territory to the tune of over Rs one crore, was brought yesterday morning. After the postmortem the body was handed over to the bereaved family.

An armed Customs party had proceeded on Tuesday afternoon towards Sonmiani beach on information that smuggled watches and cloth were to pass through Karora Lukh. On reaching the spot, the officers divided into two groups, left the wireless-fitted jeeps on the road and started walking in single file to occupy the strategic point of Karora Lukh peak of 1,580 feet.

The party headed by SPO Himayat Ali Siddiqi, while climbing the hillock, was about 150 feet away from the top when a ‘warning’ was sounded by the smugglers’ advance party already occupying the top key positions: “Don’t move, drop your arms.”

Published in Dawn, July 10th, 2019