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Sunday, July 21, 2024  
14 Muharram 1446  

Six policemen killed as terrorists target police vehicle in Lakki Marwat

TTP claims responsibility; report sought from KP govt, police; PM Shehbaz condemn incident
Police personnel stand outside the tehsil headquarter hospital where martyrs’ bodies were taken after a police mobile patrol came under attack in Lakki Marwat on Wednesday morning. Photo via Radio Pakistan
Police personnel stand outside the tehsil headquarter hospital where martyrs’ bodies were taken after a police mobile patrol came under attack in Lakki Marwat on Wednesday morning. Photo via Radio Pakistan

LAKKI MARWAT: At least six policemen were killed when unidentified men on a motorcycle opened fire at a police vehicle on patrol in a village in Lakki Marwat district in southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Wednesday, the third such attack targeting law enforcement agencies in a month.

“A weekly bazaar, Budh [Wednesday] Bazaar, is set up in Landewa village of Lakki Marwat and the police mobile was going for security when armed men on a motorcycle started firing at them in the jurisdiction of Dadwela police station. As a result, six policemen were martyred,” said Shahid Hamid, the police spokesperson, in a statement.

The deceased were identified as ASI Ilm Din, Constable Mahmood Khan, Head Constable Zubair, DFC Ahmed Nawaz, FRP Sepoy Ali Usman, and driver Dil Jan, sources told Aaj News. The police mobile belonged to the Police Chowki Abbasa Khattak. So far, three bodies have been shifted to the District Headquarters Hospital in Sirai Norang while efforts are under way to transfer the others.

A heavy contingent of police was present at the site. Reports were that the Army has been called in to conduct a search operation.

This attack comes amid what many say are attempts by the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to make its presence felt in selected areas of the KP, including Malakand Division and the tribal districts. It has resulted in massive protests in many districts - including Swat and Wana - as the government continues to hold talks with the outlawed group.

Media reports say that “troublemakers” from Afghanistan have arrived in KP after the deal. Locals have reported groups of armed men in hilly areas.

Sources said that 10 to 15 troublemakers have been seen patrolling many villages every night in an attempt to sow fear in the valley, which dealt with a similar situation prior to 2014.

Spokesperson Hamid said that the police had cordoned off the area and a search operation was under way for the arrest of terrorists. “So far, no organisation has taken responsibility for the attack. However, this is a terrorist incident according to the police.”

KP Inspector General Muazzam Jah Ansari paid tribute to the policemen while ordering those responsible to be brought to account. “The blood of police will not be shed in vain.”

Local sources said that unidentified armed men also took away Kalashnikov rifles from the police personnel. However, the police have neither confirmed this nor denied it.

The development comes weeks after six army personnel were injured in an attack on their vehicle, followed by an attack on the vehicle of the DSP in the Shah Hasan Khel area.

The TTP has since claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement released on social media. The statement claims that the militants took five machine guns, bullets, and other items from the site.

Condemnation and report

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned the terrorist attack on the police van that claimed six lives, reported Radio Pakistan. “The terrorists are the enemies of Pakistan and every possible step will be taken to safeguard the country,” it quoted the premier as saying.

“The whole nation salutes the sons of the soil who sacrificed their lives for the motherland.”

The premier asked the KP government to immediately announce the shuhada (martyrs) compensation for their families and prayed for the departed souls.

KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan said that such acts would not bring down the morale of the security forces. He also assured of support to the slain cops’ families. “The provincial government will not leave the bereaved families alone in this difficult time.”

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah has also sought a report from the KP chief secretary and KP police chief of the incident.

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Shehbaz Sharif

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

mehmood khan

Lakki Marwat

Prime Minister

Taliban

kp police