TANK/BANNU, May 28: Militants shot dead a senior official of the Frontier Constabulary in Tank city and a suicide car bomber killed two paramilitary soldiers in Boltonabad area, hours after police killed four local Taliban in Bannu, the hometown of NWFP Chief Minister Akram Khan Durrani, on Monday.

The officer and soldiers of the Frontier Constabulary were killed in ambushes while on a road leading out

of Tank.

Sources told Dawn that militants ambushed the vehicle of Mir Zarwali Khan, assistant district officer of the Frontier Constabulary, in Boltonabad area on the Tank-Jandola road at about 12 noon.

The paramilitary officer, along with his driver Fernazullah, was going to Peshawar from Tank when the militants, hiding on both sides of the road, riddled the vehicle with bullets. Police said that Mir Zarwali died on the spot and his driver suffered serious injuries. Later, the militants set the vehicle on fire.

Hours later, a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden Land Cruiser into a Frontier Constabulary vehicle in the same area, killing Hawaldar Fareed Hussain and sepoy Nametullah and injuring soldier Masood Afsar. Giving details of the incident, Area Force Commander Muqabil Mahsud told Dawn that the convoy of the FC comprising three vehicles was heading from Tank to Boltonabad to secure the area when it was ambushed.

He said the explosive-laden Land Cruiser coming from the opposite direction rammed into the paramilitary vehicle, causing a massive blast while another car driven by militants sped away.

Earlier in the day, four local Taliban were killed in a shootout with police in the Bannu area. Two SHOs and an unidentified passerby were injured in the encounter, officials said.

Tension is running high in the area and additional police force has been dispatched from neighbouring districts to the restive area after reports received that militants were planning more attacks, official sources said.

Militancy has been on the rise in Bannu area for some time.

Residents and witnesses say that gun-toting militants, mostly from the adjacent Frontier Region, roam the city freely, but law-enforcement agencies’ personnel do not challenge them.

District Police Officer Dr Mazherul Haq told a press briefing on Monday that police, on a tip-off about the entry of militants from the Sokery area into the city for sabotage activities, encircled the area and signalled a suspected double cabin pick-up truck to stop.

The DPO said that the militants, instead of stopping the vehicle, opened fire on the police, injuring Cantt Station SHO Tahir Dawar and City Police Station SHO Hafiz Janus and a passerby.

SHO Tahir Dawar was taken to Peshawar in a helicopter while his colleague was discharged from a hospital in Bannu.

Witnesses said that heavy gunfire continued for three hours and four militants were killed in the encounter.

DPO Dr Mazher said the militants belonged to the Hayat group who had been patronising local Taliban militants in the district adjacent to the North Waziristan Agency.

The militants killed in the attack have been identified as Bahadur Khan, Abid, Muhammad Rehman and Amir Hayat. Their bodies were taken to the district hospital and later handed over to relatives. Police officials said that the militants belonged to the Sokery area close to Cantt Police Station.