DERA ISMAIL KHAN/NORTH WAZIRISTAN: A police officer guarding a census team was martyred and four other cops were injured when militants targeted their vehicle in Dera Ismail Khan on Wednesday.
Separately, six militants were killed in an intelligence-based operation in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan, the military’s media wing said.
In the Dera Ismail Khan attack, unidentified shooters targeted the police vehicle in the Garah Mastan area in the limits of Daraban Police Station, injuring five cops, police spokesman Syed Yaqoob Bukhari said. The assailants fled the scene after the shooting.
The injured cops were identified as constables Gul Faraz (a resident of Buner), Aftab Ahmad (a resident of Swat) and Muhammad Naeem; Assistant Sub-Inspector Hayat Ullah of Daraban Police Station; and driver Sabir of Gomal University Police Station.
Six militants killed in Datta Khel operation, says ISPR
They were shifted to Mufti Mehmood Hospital, where Mr Faraz died of his wounds. After the incident, District Police Officer Abdul Rauf Babar Qaiserani put police security on high alert across the district. According to Dawn.com, the banned militant group Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack.
Six militants killed
In North Waziristan, six militants were killed during an intelligence-based operation in Datta Khel tehsil on Wednesday, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.
The militants were killed during an intense exchange of fire, it said, adding that weapons and ammunition were recovered from them.
“The killed terrorists remained actively involved in terrorist activities against security forces and civilians,” it added. The ISPR said area locals “appreciated the security forces response and expressed their full support to eliminate the menace of terrorism from the area”.
The Dera Ismail Khan attack and Datta Khel operation came amid a surge in militant activities across the country, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, since the TTP ended its ceasefire with the government in November.
Insurgents in Balochistan have also stepped up their violent activities and formalised a nexus with the TTP.
On Monday, at least nine personnel of the Balochistan Constabulary embraced martyrdom and 13 others were injured after a suicide bomber riding an explosives-laden motorbike struck a police truck on the Sukkur-Quetta Highway in the Bolan district.
The security officers were on their way back to Quetta after performing duties at the annual ‘Sibi Mela’when the truck was targeted in the Dhadar area.
According to statistics released by the Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies, an Islamabad-based think tank, January 2023 remained one of the deadliest months since July 2018, as 134 people lost their lives and 254 received injuries in at least 44 militant attacks across the country during the month.
Published in Dawn, March 9th, 2023