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Policeman, passer-by killed by bike-riders

KARACHI, March 21: A policeman and a passer-by woman were killed and a community police volunteer was wounded when armed riders of a motorcycle opened fire on a police mobile van on Shaheed-i-Millat Road on Thursday, said police officials.

They said the mobile van of the Ferozeabad police station was parked along the road near the traffic intersection close to the Baloch Colony flyover when two officials spotted the suspicious riders and signalled them to stop.

“But instead of stopping, they attacked the policemen and fired multiple shots as they sped away,” said the area’s sub-divisional police officer, ASP Ghulam Murtaza Malik.

“The bullets hit Constable Nazir Hussain and mobile driver Zohaib Shahid. A woman in her 30s, Rubina Dildar, who was crossing the road at that time was also caught in the crossfire and sustained a fatal bullet wound and died instantly,” said ASP Malik.

He said the wounded were shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre where Constable Nazir, 45, died from wounds. Mr Shahid’s condition was stated to be stable after surgery, he said.

The deceased policeman was father of five and a resident of Orangi Town Sector 4-A.

Mr Shahid, 27, was associated with the community police run by the area’s community with the assistance of the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee, said Sub-Inspector Qamar Zamin at the Ferozeabad police station.

“The community bears expenses of volunteers who perform different services for the area police. Mr Shahid worked as a mobile driver,” he said.

Investigators suspected the attackers were armed bandits who fired shots in panic after police signalled them to stop. All three were wearing trousers and shirts and at least two of them were armed with pistols.

“It appeared the attack was not preplanned. Three riders on a motorcycle drew police’s attention because there is a ban on pillion-riding but it turned into a deadly episode. The woman who was caught in the crossfire was a resident of Mehmoodabad and returning home from a private company where she was employed,” said ASP Malik.