10 cops martyred, 6 injured in attack on police station in DI Khan

Published February 5, 2024
Security officials prepare to offer prayers for slained police officers during a funeral following an assault on a police station in Dera Ismail Khan on February 5, 2024. — AFP
Security officials prepare to offer prayers for slained police officers during a funeral following an assault on a police station in Dera Ismail Khan on February 5, 2024. — AFP
This photo shows a security vehicle at the site of Chodwan police station in Dera Ismail Khan after it was attacked on Monday. — DawnNewsTV
This photo shows a security vehicle at the site of Chodwan police station in Dera Ismail Khan after it was attacked on Monday. — DawnNewsTV

Ten cops were martyred while six were injured in a late-night attack on the Chodwan police station in Dera Ismail Khan on Monday, police said.

The attack comes three days before the general elections are scheduled to take place on February 8 (Thursday).

Regional Police Officer (RPO) Nasir Mehmood confirmed the casualties to Dawn.com.

“More than 30 terrorists launched an attack from three directions. There was an exchange of fire for over two-and-a-half hours,” Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police chief Akhtar Hayat Gandapur told AFP.

Gandapur told AFP the attackers briefly seized control of the police station during the assault in the early hours of Monday.

Malik Aneesul Hassan, the deputy superintendent of police in Draban, told Reuters that after entering the building, the militants “used hand grenades which caused more casualties to the police”.

In the evening, funeral prayers of the martyred cops were offered at the Dera Ismail Khan Police Lines. Caretaker KP Chief Minister Justice (rtd) Arshad Hussain Shah, Chief Secretary Nadeen Aslam Chaudhry, KP police chief and other senior civil and military officials attended the funeral.

Talking to the media afterwards, IG Akhtar paid tribute to the police for fighting terrorists with courage and bravery. He promised that the sacrifices of those who fought for the security of the country would not go in vain.

He further asserted that last night’s “cowardly attack” could not demoralise the provincial police force.

Security concerns in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan have risen as both provinces have witnessed multiple attacks over the past few days.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the security apparatus had reviewed the law and order situation last week, stating that polls would be held at their scheduled time.

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwarul Haq Kakar strongly condemned the terrorist attack and offered his condolences to the families of the deceased.

He directed the concerned officials to provide the best possible medical treatment to the injured.

“The cowardly acts of terrorists will, as always, fail to undermine our resolve to maintain law and order,” he said. “The entire nation stands with the police and security forces and salutes the martyrs,” he said.

Interim Information Minister Murtaza Solangi also condemned the terrorist attack and expressed grief over the live lost. He also paid tribute to the officials who had laid down their lives to protect the nation.

“Terrorists are enemies of peace and stability of the country,” he said. The minister reaffirmed that acts of terrorism could not dampen the country’s spirits, adding that the nation stood side-by-side with the police and security forces.

CM Shah condemned the attack and expressed his grief over the loss of lives.

In a statement, he conveyed his sympathies to the families of the martyrs and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured.

CM Shah said KP police had rendered “eternal sacrifices” for peace in the province and that “such cowardly attacks would not demoralise them”.

He asserted that the government would help the bereaved in “every way possible”.

Former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed his condolences over the attack and said that such attacks would only strengthen the KP police’s “determination to achieve peace”.

Condemning the incident, ex-president Asif Ali Zardari said that implementation of the National Action Plan was the only way to eliminate terrorism.

“Peace will be achieved by destroying the nurseries of terrorists,” he said in a statement posted on X.

Meanwhile, in a social media post, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) reminded authorities of the responsibility to curb increasing terror attacks in KP which “have inflicted huge casualties on police personnel”.

“A fundamental policy shift to protect citizens is the need of the hour,” it added.

Rise in terror activities

Last week, 24 terrorists were killed during firefights and clearance operations in the Mach and Kolpur towns of Balochistan in three days, after security for­ces had thwarted three “coordinated attacks”.

Four security personnel and two civilians had embraced martyrdom during the operations.

On Wednesday, an independent candidate was shot dead in the Siddiqabad area of KP’s Bajaur district while on the same day, a worker of the Awami National Party (ANP) was killed during the party’s election campaign in Balochistan’s Qila Abdullah.

The next day, at least 10 bomb and grenade attacks rocked different areas of Balochistan in a single day, resulting in the death of one man.

Pakistan has recently witnessed an uptick in terror activities, especially in KP and Balochistan.

According to an annual security report issued by the Centre for Research and Security Studies, Pakistan witnessed 1,524 violence-related fatalities and 1,463 injuries from 789 terror attacks and counter-terror operations in 2023 — marking a record six-year high.

KP and Balochistan were the primary centres of violence, accounting for over 90 per cent of all fatalities and 84pc of attacks, including incidents of terrorism and security forces operations.

Additional input from AFP and Reuters


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