LAKKI MARWAT/SHANGLA: Militants attacked a cement factory in Darra Pezu town of Lakki Marwat district late Thursday night, killing a guard, holding five others hostage, and torching the factory’s vehicles.

Police said guard Meer Taula Khan of Tank district was martyred when a group of militants attacked the cement factory.

They said the attack took place near the crushing plant alongside the mountains.

“Around two dozen militants entered the production unit and opened fire at the security guards on resistance,” a police official told Dawn.

He said the militants held guards Syed Roshan, Obaidullah, Bashir Khan, Sabz Ali, and Sadiq Hussain hostage.

House of ANP leader attacked in Shangla

The official said the assailants snatched six rifles, a mobile phone, two walkie-talkie sets, and cash from the guards, set fire to a tanker carrying diesel and a bulldozer, and tried to blow the conveyor belt with explosives before leaving the premises.

The police said the vehicles destroyed by the attackers valued Rs115 million.

They, however, said the improvised explosive device planted along the conveyor belt didn’t explode.

The police said they seized the defused IED, shifted the body to a hospital in Titterkhel town, and booked unidentified attackers under the law before starting an investigation.

In a statement, the cement factory said an “isolated incident” occurred in the mining area away from the main production plant late on Thursday.

“A few miscreants attempted to disrupt operations at the mining facility, but due to the prompt response of the security personnel and LEAs, the situation was brought under control,” read the statement.

The factory said production remained unaffected and that it had ensured the safety and security of all employees and workers.

Bannu commissioner Parweiz Sabatkhel and regional police officer Qasim Ali Khan visited the factory along with Lakki Marwat deputy commissioner Rehmat Ali Wazir and DPO Taimur Khan.

They inspected the site of the attack and met the factory’s management and security officials.

The police chief said a special team comprising police officers from operations and investigation wings had been formed to trace and arrest attackers.

He directed police officials to use all available resources to bring the culprits to justice without delay.

Meanwhile, miscreants attacked the house of a local Awami National Party leader in the wee hours of Friday, damaging a jeep and the windowpanes of the hujra in the Shahpur area of Kana tehsil in Shangla district.

However, no one was hurt in the attack, according to SHO of the Karora police station, Mohammad Afzal Khan.

He told Dawn that the attack was reported by the chairman of the village council in Shahpur, insisting it occurred at around 3am.

The SHO said the police registered an FIR against unidentified attackers, visited the house, and collected evidence.

He said he would formally comment on the attack and attackers after the completion of the investigation.

ANP president for Jamshoro district in the Sindh province Amanullah told Dawn by phone that his house was attacked by miscreants around 3am on Friday.

He said the attackers fled after firing gunshots at a jeep and hujra’s windowpanes on the premises.

ANP provincial deputy general secretary and former MPA Faisal Zeb Khan condemned the attack and demanded the law-enforcement agencies ensure the safety of the party’s leaders and peace in the area.

He said it was the second attack of its kind in Shangla district this week.

“My house was attacked twice, but the police have failed to trace and arrest the culprits,” he said.

Published in Dawn, April 27th, 2024

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