5 cops martyred in blast near police van in KP’s Bajaur

Published January 8, 2024
People gather near the site of an explosion in KP’s Bajaur district on Monday. —  DawnNewsTV
People gather near the site of an explosion in KP’s Bajaur district on Monday. — DawnNewsTV
This handout photograph taken and released by Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Emergency Rescue 1122 Service on Jan 8, 2024 shows rescue officials shifting the bodies of policemen at a hospital who were killed in a roadside bomb blast in Bajaur district. — via AFP
This handout photograph taken and released by Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Emergency Rescue 1122 Service on Jan 8, 2024 shows rescue officials shifting the bodies of policemen at a hospital who were killed in a roadside bomb blast in Bajaur district. — via AFP

Five police officials were martyred and 27 people were injured on Monday in a blast near a police van in the Mamund tehsil of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Bajaur district, officials said.

District Police Officer (DPO) Kashif Zulfiqar confirmed the casualties to Dawn.com.

“A police truck transporting around 25 policemen for anti-polio campaign duties was targeted by an IED (improvised explosive device),” Anwarul Haq, a senior government official in Bajaur district, told AFP.

Dr Wazir Khan Safi, the medical superintendent at Khar District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ), said that 12 of the wounded were being treated at the hospital while 10 others seriously injured had been referred to a Peshawar medical facility.

Malakand Division Commissioner Saqib Raza said the polio campaign in the area had been suspended due to the blast. According to a Rescue 1122 statement, rescue teams in Mohmand and Lower Dir districts were also put on “alert”.

The outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack.

Condemnations

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar strongly condemned the attack and expressed the resolve to continue the anti-polio campaign with “full force till the complete elimination of the poliovirus from the country”, state-run Radio Pakistan reported.

The premier prayed for the martyred policemen and condoled with their families. He also directed authorities to provide all the possible medical assistance to the injured persons.

PM Kakar further stated that the entire nation salutes polio workers and security personnel, adding that terrorists would never succeed in their nefarious designs.

In a statement, caretaker KP Chief Minister Justice (retd) Arshad Hussain Shah condemned the blast and expressed his grief on the “martyrdom of police officials”.

Praying for the speedy recovery of the wounded, CM Shah directed the district administration to ensure the provision of timely aid to them.

“The police morale would not be defeated by such cowardly incidents,” the chief minister asserted.

Highlighting that the KP police have given “eternal sacrifices” to protect the public’s lives and properties, CM Shah said the nation saluted them. He vowed to provide “every possible support” to the bereaved families.

National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf also conveyed his condolences on the loss of precious lives.

In a post on social media platform X, the NA’s account quoted him as saying that the public was standing with the police.

Former climate change minister Sherry Rehman expressed her “heartfelt” sympathies to the families of the deceased.

“The terrorists have not only attacked the police but also our children’s health,” she said in a post on social media platform X.

She asserted that attacks on security teams providing security to polio teams “would not be tolerated under any circumstances”. “The miscreants do not want complete eradication of polio from this country,” Rehman stated.

CTD official martyred in firing at Peshawar judicial complex

Meanwhile, a Counter Terrorism Department official was martyred while three people were injured in a firing incident within the premises of Peshawar’s judicial complex, local police said.

In a statement, the city police said that the injured included a cop and two persons from the targeted side.

The suspect was arrested on the occasion and shifted to a police station for further investigation, the statement said.

It added that the suspect disguised himself as a lawyer and fired shots due to personal enmity. Weapons used for the incident had also been recovered, the police said.

Soldier martyred in North Waziristan

Separately, a Pakistan Army soldier was martyred in an exchange of fire with terrorists in KP’s North Waziristan, the military’s media affairs wing said.

“Own troops effectively engaged terrorists’ location and apprehended one terrorist in injured condition,” the Inter Service Public Relations said in a press release.

It said Havaldar Muhammad Zahir, a 41-year-old resident of Mardan, embraced martyrdom. “Sanitisation operation is being carried out to eliminate any terrorists found in the area,” the ISPR stated.

It added that the security forces of Pakistan were determined to eliminate the menace of terrorism and “such sacrifices of our brave soldiers further strengthen our resolve”.


Additional input from Iftikhar Shirazi

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