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Monday, June 24, 2024  
17 Dhul-Hijjah 1445  

Four policemen killed in attack on Lakki Marwat police station

'Blood of martyrs of police will not go in vain,' says Bannu RPO Ashfaq Anwar
A contingent of police pays tribute to the four policemen killed in an attack on Bargi police station on Sunday. Photo via Facebook/Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police
A contingent of police pays tribute to the four policemen killed in an attack on Bargi police station on Sunday. Photo via Facebook/Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police

At least four policemen were killed and four got injured in an exchange of fire with suspected terrorists when the latter descended on a police station in Lakki Marwat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Saturday night, the police said. It is the second deadly assault in the area affected by the apparent return of “troublemakers” in the province from neighbouring Afghanistan.

“Terrorists hurled hand grenades, fired rocket launchers, and sprayed the Bargi Lakki Marwat police station with bullets,” police spokesperson Shahid Khan said.

Suspected terrorists descended on the police station at around 12:30am, resulting in an intense exchange of fire with the police. Police tried to resist them but suffered casualties. He said that the policemen engaged the militants for almost 45 minutes.

The deceased were identified as Head Constable Ibrahim, Imran, Khairul Rehman, and Sabz Ali. All the casualties were shifted to the district headquarters hospital in Bannu.

A heavy contingent of police has reached the site and conducted a search operation in the area.

Established around a year ago, Bargi police station is the last one in Lakki Marwat along the boundary of Bannu. It is around 39.1km (24.2miles) from Landewa village of the district where six policemen were killed when outlawed TTP members attacked the police mobile that was going for security in the weekly bazaar.

Sources said that the law and order situation was already bad in underdeveloped Bargi, adding that basic utilities in the area were not enough. People have to travel to Bannu for treatment, they added.

The area is a stronghold of Maulana Fazlur Rehman-led faction of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam. For the past 10 years, the JUI-F’s candidates have been elected members of provincial assembly from here.

Police, people on the ‘same page’

The funeral prayers of the deceased police personnel were performed in the police line with official honors. A police contingent paid tribute to their martyrs.

Bannu Regional Police Officer Ashfaq Anwar, DPO Lakki Marwat Ziauddin Ahmed, senior military, civil authorities and SP Investigation, including police officers and officials and local people attended the funeral.

“The blood of police martyrs will not go in vain,” Bannu RPO Anwar said as he hailed the services of deceased police officers.

Anwar, who led the search operation for terrorists in the Pashan area last month following terrorist activities, assured the families of the martyrs that the miscreants involved in the attack would be exposed and brought to justice “as soon as possible”. Anwar added that they would “immediately” arrest the culprits behind the “cowardly act” after tightening the noose around them.

“Terrorism is taking its last breath by playing with the life of the police,” he said and reiterated the determination that the war would continue at all costs till the end of the last terrorist.

The Bannu RPO said that the police and the people were on the ‘same page’ when it comes to the operation against terrorists—a perception that was not common before 2014.

Peace demonstrations almost in every district of KP have been held over the past few months, with a single demand for peace and no to “troublemakers” in the area following their reentry after an alleged deal with the government. However, the TTP announced in November that it was calling off the ceasefire.

The police were taking steps to establish peace and order together with the people, Anwar said, adding that Lakki Marwat police was ready to defend its area against extremists.

“The police will not hesitate to render any sacrifice for the country,” he said, “the people should avoid giving shelter to terrorists and provide timely information to the police in case of the presence of terrorists.”

Tributes pour in for ‘nation’s hero’

The national and provincial leadership strongly condemned the attack and paid tributes to the policemen who died in their line of duty.

“Police officers and youths have made great sacrifices against terrorism. Terrorists are enemies of Pakistan and the people. Those who became the shield against the terrorist are the hero of the nation,” Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said.

The resurgence of TTP activities, as claimed by the group, follows their November 28 announcement of ending the ceasefire agreed with the government in June. The TTP, a separate entity from the Taliban in Afghanistan, ordered fighters to stage attacks across the country.

Shehbaz, whose government also continued the talks that were started by the previous government, said that the elimination of terrorists, their supporters, and facilitators was among his priorities. He directed the KP government to provide the Shuhda package to the heirs of the deceased police officers.

The premier prayed for the deceased.

KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has sought a report from the inspector general of police. He directed that the best medical facilities should be provided to the injured policemen.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was also grieved over the incident. “The terrorists should be hunted down and brought to justice,” he said and offered condolences to the bereaved families.

Former president Asif Ali Zardari also condemned it. He was of the view that the increase in incidents of terrorism in KP was a matter of concern.

The unrest caused by terrorist attacks against police, the first line of defence, prompted the local administration in November to suspend the polio vaccination campaign.

“Strict measures should be taken to suppress the terrorists,” Zardari said.

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Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Lakki Marwat



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