Policeman among 5 killed in Turbat attack

Published October 31, 2023
Rescue services at the sight of the killings in Turbat on Tuesday.—Balochistan government
Rescue services at the sight of the killings in Turbat on Tuesday.—Balochistan government

A policeman and four labourers were killed and two others were injured in an attack on a police station in Balochistan’s Turbat on Tuesday.

Confirming the development to Dawn.com, Kech District Police Officer (DPO) Muhammad Baloch said “around 20 miscreants” attacked the Naseerabad Police Station in the early hours of Wednesday.

He said constables Essa and Hassan tried to engage the attackers but the former was martyred during the exchange of fire. “Constable Hassan was overpowered and the weapons of both the policemen were snatched.”

DPO Baloch added that a heavy contingent of police reached the scene and began a search operation. He said the Counter Terrorism Department had joined the investigation.

The police official disclosed that labourers spend the night at the police station for security reasons.

A similar attack was conducted on Oct 14, in which unidentified gunmen fatally shot six labourers and left several wounded in the Kech district. Turbat is the administrative centre of the district. In that attack, which also took place in the early hours of the day, a group of armed men barged into a residence in Turbat’s Satellite Town area and indiscriminately shot the labourers.

It was after this attack that authorities directed labourers to stay at police stations during the night over security fears.

Condemnations

Balochistan caretaker Chief Minister Ali Mardan Khan Domki expressed regret over the deaths, terming the attack “condemnable and intolerable”.

“No religion in the world allows terrorism,” he said. “The killing of labourers is a sad incident and the involved elements will be brought to justice.”

Domki highlighted that Balochistan’s tradition revolved around hospitality and “not taking the life of a visiting guest”. He said anti-peace elements were also the enemy of their traditions.

The interim CM directed the home and tribal affairs ministry to submit a report in this regard. He vowed to not let efforts of peace be sabotaged.

“The sacrifices of brave soldiers of the security forces for the restoration of peace will not go in vain,” Domki said. “Will go to every extent to suppress anti-peace elements”.

Meanwhile, Balochistan’s Home and Tribal Affairs Minister Jan Achakzai also expressed condolences and sympathy with the families of the martyrs. “May Allah raise their rank”.

On the other hand, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani expressed grief and sorrow over the killings.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), he directed the law enforcement agencies to immediately arrest the extremists involved in the killing of innocent citizens and a police constable.

“This is brazen terrorism and terrorists are enemies of peace and humanity. This move is part of a nefarious conspiracy to sabotage the atmosphere of peace in Balochistan,” Sanjrani added.

He vowed to stand by the side of LEAs for the establishment of peace in the country.

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also condemned the attack. Terming it “brazen terrorism”, he said militants have no colour, race, or religion.

“I share the grief of the families of the policeman and four labourers who were martyred in the attack,” he said. “The country cannot afford any more delay in implementing the National Action Plan.”

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