The Punjab Counter-Terrorism Department’s team in Mianwali’s Kalabagh came under attack by a group of armed militants be­longing to the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakis­tan (TTP) on Thursday night, the CTD said.

According to a statement issued by the CTD on Friday, the militants and security officials exchanged fire for 20 minutes during which a terrorist was killed.

“The slain militant was an important TTP commander identified as Habibur Rehman,” it said, revealing that a Kalashnikov, suicide jacket and TTP stickers were recovered from the terrorist’s possession.

The statement said that two terrorists managed to escape during the exchange of fire and a grand search operation has been launched to arrest them.

“A case against the attack has been registered at the CTD police station in Sargodha,” the statement added.

There were no reports of any injuries to CTD personnel during the attack.

Thursday’s attack is significant in that terrorists — who had so far targeted police stations and checkposts in Khyber Pakhtun­khwa, Balochistan and areas bordering Afghanistan — have set their sights in Punjab.

Earlier this month, a police station in Mianwali had also come under a gun attack by a group of TTP terrorists. Fortunately, no injuries to the police personnel were reported. After the attack, the Punjab police had launched a grand counterterrorism operat­ion in the highly complex and inac­cessible hilly areas of the district.

Hand grenade hurled at Peshawar police station

Meanwhile, unidentified attackers hurled a hand grenade at Peshawar’s Chamkani police station between 3am and 4am on Friday morning, the police said.

Peshawar Rural Superintendent of Police (SP) Zafar Ahmed told Dawn.com that the attackers were on motorcycles. “The policemen were alert and they retaliated in full fire after which the men fled.”

He said that some motorcycles parked inside the police station suffered damage. However, no loss of life or injuries were reported.

“Peshawar police is more alert than before to fail terrorists’ wicked plans and face them,” SP Ahmed added.

He further said that additional police convoys have been called and a search operation is under way in nearby areas.

Last week, the CTD claimed to have killed a suspected terrorist allegedly belonging to the TTP in an encounter and arrested 11 other members of banned outfits from different cities during intelligence-based operations (IBOs) across Punjab.

January was the deadliest month since 2018, in which 134 people lost their lives — a 139 per cent spike — and 254 received injuries in at least 44 militant attacks across the country.

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