6 security personnel martyred in attack on Hungarian-owned oil site in Hangu

Published May 23, 2023
Six security personnel were martyred in an attack on MOL gas company’s plant site in KP’s Hangu district on late night of May 22. — Photo by Javid Afzal
Six security personnel were martyred in an attack on MOL gas company’s plant site in KP’s Hangu district on late night of May 22. — Photo by Javid Afzal

Four Frontier Constabulary personnel and two private guards were martyred in an overnight attack on a Hungarian-owned oil and gas exploration site in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Hangu district on Tuesday, police said.

Thal Deputy Superintendent of Police Irfan Khan told Dawn.com, “Late at night, terrorists opened indiscriminate firing at the security personnel posted at MOL Pakistan Oil and Gas Company’s plant at the location of Mainji Khel.

“The soldiers bravely exchanged fire for two hours. Four personnel of the Frontier Constabulary and two from a private security company have been martyred in this attack,” he added.

Khan further said the terrorists were able to flee by taking advantage of the darkness at night time and that the bodies of the soldiers have been shifted to Thal Combined Military Hospital.

Reuters quoted Khan as saying that the attack on the gas plant was made by up to 50 terrorists, who targeted two wells — M-8 and M-10 — with heavy weapons, including rocket-propelled grenades.

“The security guards at M-8 repulsed the terrorists’ attack but the casualties took place at M-10,” Reuters quoted Khan as saying. He added that the militants also damaged a solar power plant at the gas power plant before fleeing to adjoining North Waziristan, where they had come from.

AFP quoted district police chief Asif Bahadur as saying, “They (the terrorists) were armed with light and heavy weapons and fired mortar shells, killing six security personnel at the main entrance” of the site.

According to AFP, Bahadur blamed the attack on the militant outfit Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), though no group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

He added the attackers came from the nearby North Waziristan district, which borders Afghanistan and has historically been a hive of militancy, AFP reported.

Noor Wali Khan, a second district police official, also confirmed the attack and the death toll to AFP.

Meanwhile, AFP quoted a spokesman for the Hungarian embassy in Islamabad as saying that they are “assessing the information” and that no diplomatic action was planned.

The MOL Group has operated a Pakistan subsidiary since 1999 and employs 400 people in the country, according to their website.

The company did not immediately respond to either Reuters’ or AFP’s requests for comment.

Increase in terror attacks

Pakistan has seen an uptick in terror activities, especially in KP and Balochistan, after the outlawed TTP ended its ceasefire with the government in November last year.

In his maiden press briefing last month, ISPR Director General Maj Gen Ahmed Sharif Chaudhry had said that at least 293 people were martyred and 521 were injured in 436 terrorist incidents over the past year.

In KP, 192 people were martyred in 219 terror activities, while 80 people lost lives in 206 incidents in Balochistan, 14 people in five attacks in Punjab, and seven in six terrorism incidents across Sindh.

The DG ISPR had also said that overall 137 security personnel were martyred and 117 injured in anti-terror operations in the ongoing year.

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