KARACHI, Jan 29: A policeman was killed and two others were wounded in a brazen attack launched by suspected militants on the Sohrab Goth police station on Tuesday evening, police said.
The attack on the Sohrab Goth police station, situated in a thickly populated area, was a grim reminder of a last month terror attack on a Rangers picket near Al-Asif Square within the jurisdiction of the same police station in which two Rangers personnel had been killed and three policemen wounded.
DIG-East Abdul Aleem Jafferi said that the attack was carried out at the main gate of the police station when policemen deputed at pickets in the area returned to the police station after completing their duty to deposit their weapons.
The police said that initially a man came close to a policeman guarding the main gate and shook his hand in a bid to distract his attention. A police mobile van was at the main gate and the policeman was lifting the barrier to let it in when four men on two motorbikes raked the police station building with submachine-gun fire.
“They used an AK-47 assault rifle to carry out the shooting,” the DIG said, adding that the police also returned fire but the attackers managed to escape.
Three policemen, one of whom was inside the police station, were wounded in the attack. They were immediately rushed to the nearby Patel Hospital and were later taken to the Aga Khan University Hospital for treatment.
However, Head Constable Zulfiqar Naqvi died on his way to hospital. Constables Ghulam Nazuk and Arshad Mehmood were admitted for treatment.
Before the attack, the police had rounded up several suspects from the adjoining localities in the Sohrab Goth area. Although it was not clear whether any of the detained suspects were kept in the Sohrab Goth police station, the police claimed that the suspects were kept at different police stations.
“No suspect was present in the lock-up of the Sohrab Goth police station at the time of the attack…the detained suspects had been transferred to different police stations,” the DIG claimed.
He said that it could be an attack to demoralise the police or it could be a reaction to the recent arrests in the Sohrab Goth area.
Another police officer told Dawn that the attack was carried out by militants active in the neighbourhood and it was possibly connected with the arrest of the suspects.
Following the attack, a heavy contingent of the police was sent to the police station.
The police collected around over a dozen spent bullet casings of AK-47 assault rifle from the crime-scene.
On Dec 10, 2012, in a somewhat similar attack two Rangers men were killed and three policemen were wounded when assailants attacked a Rangers picket near the Al-Asif traffic police post close to the main Superhighway within the remit of the Sohrab Goth police station.
On Jan 28, scores of people attacked the police post of the Sohrab Goth police station, torched two vehicles, including a mobile van, and two motorcycles and ransacked the post.