3 cops martyred, 5 terrorists killed after police headquarters comes under attack in KP’s Tank City

Published December 15, 2023
A picture of the three martyred policemen in the attack. — ISPR
A picture of the three martyred policemen in the attack. — ISPR
This photo shows the local Police Lines in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Tank district on Dec 15. — DawnNewsTV
This photo shows the local Police Lines in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Tank district on Dec 15. — DawnNewsTV

Three policemen embraced martyrdom and five terrorists were killed during an attack on Police Lines in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s Tank City on Friday, the army’s media wing said.

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), five terrorists including a suicide bomber attempted an attack but were “offered stiff resistance by brave policemen”.

“Security forces in the vicinity were immediately mobilised to support the police force and in the ensuing operation,” the statement said. “All five terrorists were sent to hell.”

The ISPR said that the effective response of policemen was a testament to “their unrelenting resolve in the fight against terrorism”.

“However, during an intense fire exchange with the terrorists, three brave policemen, having fought gallantly, embraced shahadat (martyrdom),” the ISPR added.

It said that the country’s security forces “stood shoulder-to-shoulder” with other law enforcement agencies to ensure peace and stability in the country.

Earlier, Tank District Police Officer Iftikhar Ali Shah also confirmed the casualties. He told Dawn.com that a sub-inspector was among those killed.

According to the official, one of several militants first exploded himself at the main entrance of a police office and residence block and the others stormed in. “Our force on guard engaged them in a gun battle for hours,” DPO Shah said.

KP Inspector General Akhtar Hayat said three of the attackers were killed.

DPO Shah said he was present at the site of the incident and a search operation was under way to locate more militants. He further said that the terrorists fired shots and “used hand grenades”.

A little-known militant group that identified itself as Ansarul Islam claimed responsibility, saying it was their first attack, according to a statement sent to a Reuters reporter. The police didn’t verify the authenticity of the claim.

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar strongly condemned the attack and paid tribute to the security forces for foiling “a big plan of terrorism”.

“The entire nation pays tribute to the valiant security personnel who sacrificed their lives for the homeland,” he said in a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office.

The premier also vowed to continue the fight against terrorism till its complete elimination from the country, adding that the nation stood with its security forces in the war against terror.

Former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed his grief over the incident and strongly condemned it.

Stating that the police, Frontier Corps and Pakistan Army were putting their lives at risk, he added that the nation would always be indebted to them for their sacrifices.

Meanwhile, PPP’s Sherry Rehman said the attacks on police lines and checkpoints would not go unnoticed. “Neither our religion nor Constitution has any tolerance for terrorism,” she wrote on X.

Uptick in terror activities

Today’s incident comes days after at least 23 soldiers were martyred and more than 30 troops wounded after militants belonging to the Tehreek-i-Jihad Pakistan (TJP) stormed a compound used by the military in Dera Ismail Khan.

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

Last month, a cop embraced martyrdom in a militant attack outside the Nadra office in Tank after being shot by militants riding on a motorcycle.

On Nov 11, three police personnel, including a station house officer (SHO), were martyred and five others including a deputy superintendent of police, had sustained injuries in a militant attack on police in Tank’s Kari Shah Noor area.

Earlier in November, an overnight attack on the post in the limits of Gul Imam police station in the Tank area of D.I. Khan was repelled.

According to data released by the Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies, the country experienced a 34 per cent increase in anti-state violence last month. It showed KP as the most affected province, documenting 51 attacks, causing 54 fatalities and 81 injuries.

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