Tense Situation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as Terror Attacks Spike Before Polls…writes Hamza Ameer
At least 10 police officials were martyred and six critically injured in yet another targetted terror attacks on a police station in Dera Ismail Khan during the early hours of Monday.
The attack signifies the tense, sensitive and critical situation in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province with increased terror attacks, only four days before the polling day on February 8.
According to the police, terrorists entered the Chodhwan police station at around 3 a.m. on Monday morning, sniping out the guards standing around it.
“They hurled grenades as well as shot at police officers they encountered. Four of the martyred belong to the Elite Force,” said a police official.
“After entering the building, the terrorists used hand grenades which caused more casualties to the police,” said Malik Anees ul Hassan, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) of Draban.
Police sources also revealed that the attack was carried out by at least 30 terrorists, who attacked from at least three different directions.
“There was an exchange of fire for at least two-and-a-half hours,” KP Provincial Police Chief Akhtar Hayat Gandapur said.
“Following the attack, a clearance operation was initiated by police officers as well as military personnel. Military has taken up security duties around the police station and are also leading a clearance operation in the forest nearby,” he added.
The latest attack is part of a series of attacks in recent days, further complicating the security situation in the province and raises even more concerns over the upcoming general elections to be held on February 8 across the country.
Just over a month ago, at least 23 soldiers were martyred after militants rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into a security forces post in Dera Ismail Khan district. The car bomb was followed by a suicide attack, collapsing the building causing casualties.
The Dera Ismail Khan district has been under the shadow of terror attacks for some time, especially since the announcement of the polling day.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has also taken notice of the ongoing incidents of terror attacks and had called in an emergency meeting with security officials.
It is to be noted that the terror attacks have also claimed lives of candidates of various political parties.
Awami National Party (ANP) activist, who was contesting as an Independent candidate for the National Assembly in KP’s Bajaur district, was killed at a political rally of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in Qilla Abdullah in Balochistan.
Moreover, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) candidate Ali Madad Jattak was killed in a grenade attack in Quetta’s Sariab Road while a similar attack also claimed life of Mir Zahoor Buledi in Kech district of Balochistan.
Targetted terror attacks on political rallies and people contesting elections, especially in KP and Balochistan, including targetted major attacks on security posts and police stations, have put some serious questions over the maintenance of security during the election day.
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