RAWALPINDI: Two police officials were martyred and a suspect was killed in a shootout in Saddar that also left four people injured on Tuesday.

The deceased police officials have been identified as Mohammad Ali and Saeed Ahmed while a Dolphin Force official, Hassan Akram, and bystander Sumaira Sharif were among those injured. One of the suspected shooters who was shot and killed has been identified.

Regional Police Officer (RPO) Sohail Habib Tajik has called the shootout “an act of terrorism”.

He said the attackers who shot at the police were “well-equipped and camouflaged” and that one of the suspects was shot dead “in retaliation” for shooting the police officials.

According to police sources, a second suspected shooter managed to escape, leading to a police search and increased patrolling in the cantonment area.

RPO Tajik said the number of attackers has not been ascertained, but the police are working to arrest any accomplices. He added that the police have been on high alert in the city and cantonment areas due to general terror threats.

Ms Sharif, 38, was shot in the crossfire while waiting near the bus station. She was taken to the District Headquarters Hospital, where she is stated to be in critical condition. Two drummers, known commonly as dholwalas, were also injured.

The shootout caused panic among bystanders and commuters around the busy Saddar metro bus station. People ran from the shooting, some crying and screaming, while many others hid somewhere in the cantonment’s commercial area.

Shortly after the incident, police officials led by RPO Tajik, City Police Officer Mohammad Ahsan Younas and Potohar Division Superintendent of Police Syed Ali visited the scene of the shooting and cordoned off the area.

Published in Dawn, January 8th, 2020

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