DSP among three killed in KP’s Sarband police station ambush
PESHAWAR: At least three policemen, including a deputy superintendent of police, were killed when they tried to ward off the suspected terrorists who ambushed the Peshawar Sarband Police Station on Friday midnight.
“To begin with, sniper shots and automatic weapons in addition to hand grenades lobbying were used in the attack,” SSP operations Kashif Aftab Abbasi told reporters after visiting the crime scene. “This was a coordinated attack from multiple directions.”
Sarband, which is one of the 33 police stations in Peshawar, is located on the outskirts of the metropolitan city. It did not suffer any human loss and the “troublemakers” were pushed back by the police in the gun battle.
Badaber, Hayatabad, and Gulbarg police stations are within 12 kilomteres vicinity of the police station that was attacked. And, the distance could be covered in half an hour.
When the news broke out, all teams from the surrounding police stations reached to Sarband to reinforce the troops already there. “Our Badaber DSP Sardar Hussain and two policemen of Peshawar police, Irshad and Jahanzaib, were martyred while chasing and trying to surround the suspected terrorists. They were shot from sniper shots in an exchange of fire with the suspected terrorists,” Abbasi said.
The policemen successfully defended the police station, he added.
This brings the total number of police casualties in the province to four in the past two weeks. A policeman was killed while responding to an attack on the Shahbaz Khel check post in the Lakki Marwat district where they were ambushed by a group of terrorists on December 31, 2022 night.
The outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban has accepted responsibility for the attack. It claimed that two Kalashnikovs, seven magazines, and Rs47,000 were taken from the site.
Terrorist attacks have ramped up in the country after the end of the shaky ceasefire agreement with the government. The banned group ordered its group members in November to stage nationwide attacks. It has portrayed the police as a “soft target” in its attacks. But, the police have continued to resist it.
The people of KP, who have been at receiving end of the unrest, have also been protesting against what they say rising terrorist activities in the province since October. The ‘Waziristan Aman Olasi Pasoon’ ended their seven-day sit-in on January 11 after the administration assured the protesters of implementing all of their “legitimate” demands. They have 10 demands from the government.
When asked about the counter operation, the SSP said that it was concluded and a search operation was under way. Another search operation was planned for Saturday morning.
“I have said many times in the past that Peshawar and the KP police’s stories of courage and sacrifice are not new. All of our policemen and officers still today are determined and would not shy away from rendering any sacrifice in ensuring peace in this city and the country,” Abbasi said.
The funeral prayers of the deceased policemen were offered at the Police Lines in Peshawar on Saturday. KP Governor Haji Ghulam Ali, provincial minister Shaukat Yousafzai, IG KP Moazzam Jah Ansari, civil and senior officials and political leaders participated in the funeral prayers.
“The incident is very tragic, the sacrifice of the martyrs will not go in vain,” KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan said.
He praised the KP police for “successfully” pushing back the terrorists in the operation. “The entire nation stands with the police against terrorism,” he said and expressed his heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the bereaved families.
‘Now we will be able to see terrorists’
At least 20 thermal sight weapons – out of the total 40 – have been sent to Bannu and Dera Ismail Khan each, KP IG Moazzam Jah Ansari told reporters after the funeral.
“Now we will be able to see terrorists,” he said, adding that the provincial government has issued funds for the provision of such a request.
The thermal sights of nigh vision scopes are attached to the weapons. It helps in seeing distant objects. Ansari admitted that earlier the police had not such weapons.
Pakistan has many times urged the Afghan Taliban, the interim rulers of Afghanistan, to not allow its soil used as a launch pad for attacks against the country. Many believe that the terrorists have got possession of weapons left by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization which includes sniper guns with night vision riflescopes.
“There is a lot of progress in the Safe City project. We have signed an agreement in this regard and the first phase will be completed by this year,” the KP IG said.
Cameras have been installed in the police stations of the city, he added. Last week, Malakand Commissioner Shaukat Ali Yousafzai ordered the early installation of night vision cameras at Swat jail in order to strengthen its security.
“This war is not happening for the first time,” Ansaris said, “here [funeral] we all gathered which is a sign that we are all together in this war.”
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