No let-up as three cops, two soldiers martyred in KP

Published January 11, 2024
People gather around an ambulance outside a hospital after four were killed in an attack on police checkpost in Kohat on Tuesday night. — Photo provided by Khalid Makki
People gather around an ambulance outside a hospital after four were killed in an attack on police checkpost in Kohat on Tuesday night. — Photo provided by Khalid Makki

• Militants use sophisticated weapons in Kohat attack on policemen
• Make off with two AK-47s, Rs100,000 from Lachi toll plaza
• Two sepoys martyred, two militants killed in Lakki Marwat

KOHAT / LAKKI MARWAT /PESHAWAR: Four people, including three police officers and a civilian, lost their lives in a militant attack on a police checkpoint near the Lachi toll plaza on the Indus Highway in Kohat district on Wednesday morning.

According to police sources, nearby CCTV footage showed militants approaching the post, swiftly executing a police officer inside, and then attacking two others with a grenade.

“The first policeman embraced martyrdom inside the checkpoint,” District Police Officer (DPO) Kohat Farhan Khan told Dawn. “A militant later lobbed a hand grenade at two police personnel standing at a distance from the checkpoint who also embraced martyrdom.”

A civilian, mistakenly targeted as a police officer due to his black dress, was also killed in the assault, Mr Khan said.

Senior police officials reported that the militants also made off with two AK-47 rifles and around Rs100,000 from the toll plaza. The crime scene evidence suggested the use of a submachine gun and an American-made M-16 in the attack.

Following the attack, heavy contingents of law enforcement agencies, including the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD), reached the spot and initiated a comprehensive search operation. However, the militants managed to escape into the nearby mountainous terrain under cover of darkness.

The victims’ bodies were transported to the Kohat Development Authority Teaching Hospital for autopsy.

A funeral service was held at the new police lines, attended by high-ranking officials, including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police chief Akhtar Hayat Khan, General Officer Commanding of IXth Division Maj Gen Zulfiqar Bhatti, Kohat Commissioner Abid Khan, DIG Sher Akbar Khan, and others, along with families of the martyrs and community members.

The martyred soldiers were laid to rest in their ancestral hometowns with full honours.

Talking to journalists, the KP police chief said that non-state actors were involved in militant activities, adding that all law enforcement and intelligence agencies were trying their best at the cost of their lives to identify and arrest militants.

He said the forces were on the highest alert to foil the nefarious designs of anti-state elements, adding that they were active in parts of Karak and Hangu districts and had frequently targeted police posts on Parachinar and Rawalpindi highways in southern KP using ultra-modern weapons.

Later, chairing a high-level meeting after the funeral, the KP police chief said the militants were targeting police and army officials and expressed the resolve to continue the fight until militancy is eradicated and peace is restored in the country.

He said police and armed forces in Lakki Marwat and Waziristan had been targeted by militants through improvised explosive devices and gunfire.

He vowed that the security forces would not rest before wiping out all the sinister elements trying to spread anarchy through different means by fanning division in society based on linguistic, religious and political differences.

Lakki Marwat attack

Meanwhile, two security personnel were martyred and two militants were killed in an exchange of fire in the Arsala area of Lakki Marwat district on Wednesday.

The incident occurred in a rural locality as security forces were conducting a patrol. They unexpectedly encountered the terrorists, leading to a sudden and intense exchange of fire.

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) confirmed the encounter and the casualties on both sides.

According to the ISPR, the security forces effectively targeted the militants’ position, resulting in the death of two militants identified as Aftab alias Malang and Masood Shah.

“These terrorists remained actively involved in numerous terrorist activities against the security forces as well as target killings of innocent civilians. Weapons, ammunition and explosives were also recovered from them,” the ISPR read.

The two soldiers who lost their lives were Sepoy Muhammad Afzal, 29, from district Bhimber, Azad Kashmir, and Sepoy Ibrar Hussain, 27, from district Mansehra.

Following the clash, a sanitisation operation was launched in the area to ensure the elimination of any remaining terrorists, the ISPR said. “Security forces of Pakistan are determined to wipe out the menace of terrorism from the country and such sacrifices of our brave soldiers further strengthen our resolve,” it said.

Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

Royal tantrum
Updated 20 Jul, 2024

Royal tantrum

The PML-N's confrontational stance and overt refusal to respect courts orders on arguably flimsy pretexts is a dangerous sign.
Bangladesh chaos
Updated 20 Jul, 2024

Bangladesh chaos

The unfortunate events playing out in Bangladesh should serve as a warning sign for other South Asian states.
Fitch’s estimate
20 Jul, 2024

Fitch’s estimate

FITCH seems to be more optimistic about Pakistan accelerating its economic growth rate to 3.2pc during this fiscal...
Misplaced priorities
Updated 19 Jul, 2024

Misplaced priorities

The government must call its APC at the earliest and invite all stakeholders to take part; this matter cannot be delayed further.
Oman terror attack
19 Jul, 2024

Oman terror attack

THE normally peaceful sultanate of Oman was shaken by sectarian terrorism on Monday when militants belonging to the...
Urban flooding
19 Jul, 2024

Urban flooding

THE provincial authorities have been taking precautionary measures, or so we have been told, to cope with emergency...