A damaged wall of the police station in Wana.—Twitter / IhteshamAfghan
A damaged wall of the police station in Wana.—Twitter / IhteshamAfghan

SOUTH WAZIRISTAN: Dozens of armed militants stormed a police station in Wana in the early hours of Tuesday and escaped after looting arms and ammunition, police have confirmed.

Around 1am, militants armed with rocket launchers and heavy weapons forced their way into the police station, according to a cop, Rehman Wazir, who was inside at the time of the attack.

He told Dawn that around 50 militants entered the station after blowing up the front gate.

Heavily outnumbered in front of militants, around 20 policemen, including the station house officer, resisted for some time but were later taken hostage, another police official said.

Videos shared on social media showed a heavy bombardment of rockets and grenades at the station in the dark of night.

The attackers fled with weapons in a police van after the attack. Local police said the militants only took away eight AK-47 rifles from the station.

Around 50 assailants attacked the building with rocket launchers; two beheaded bodies found in Tank

One police constable was injured, while an alleged militant was killed in the attack, sources said.

The police constable, identified as Ilyas, was shifted to Wana hospital for treatment.

According to sources, the alleged militant was gunned down in an exchange of fire with Frontier Corps (FC) personnel. His body was later recovered from the Baghicha area.

The police station was briefly taken over by FC after the attack, but was later handed back to the cops by Tuesday afternoon.

Police said more force was deployed to Wana from nearby areas and currently there were 100 cops inside the station.

The attack created panic in the area and locals expressed their dismay over it. Shakir Khan, a local elder, said ‘good and bad Taliban’ were the government’s creation and locals want nothing to do with them. “The public neither wants neither good nor bad Taliban. It wants the rule of law in their area,” he said.

The police stations in North Waziristan and South Waziristan — two districts bordering Afghanistan — have been consistently targeted by militants over the past few months.

After a spate of attacks, police personnel vacated Raghzai and Khan Kot police stations close to the Pak-Afghan border. The withdrawal provided the militants with an open space to roam around the area and easily access areas such as Wana, according to sources.

Two beheaded bodies found

Two beheaded bodies were found in a watercourse in the Tank district on Tuesday, according to a police official.

The bodies were dumped in the Tangi Dabak village in the remit of Jandola police station, an official told Dawn.

According to officials from Jandola police station, the victims were identified as Shah Noor Bhettanni and his cousin Raheem Gul Bhettanni, residents of Kanazai village.

Police said a paper was also found by the bodies which read: “It is a message from Taliban to everyone that spying would result in such a death.” A case was registered and investigation started.

Along with the number of terrorist attacks, KP has also witnessed a surge in beheading incidents, allegedly by militants.

On December 6, a Frontier Constabulary soldier was beheaded by unknown attackers in Janikhel town of Bannu district. Later, the locals claimed that the head was hung from a tree in the Bachki market area. In the second incident, the body of a man, allegedly beheaded by militants, was found in Zindi Akbar Khan area of Bannu district. In both cases, the militants claimed the deceased were “spies”.

Muhammad Irfan Mughal in Dera Ismail Khan also contributed to this report

Published in Dawn, December 21st, 2022

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