Counter-terror cop survives Taliban attack in Pakistan
Pakistani police on Saturday foiled an attack on a senior counter- terrorism official and killed four militants in the southern port city of Karachi, police said.
“Militants started chasing me in a vehicle and a motorbike as I left home with a police escort,” Rao Anwar, who has survived at least two other attempts on his life, told AFP.
He said militants opened fire as police intercepted the car and bike. The police also retaliated, killing one of the militants on the spot.
He added the three others ran away but police killed them later in an exchange of fire.
Another senior police official, Najeeb Khan, confirmed the incident and said the militants who belonged to Tehreek- e- Taliban Pakistan ( TTP) were wanted for several attacks on law enforcement agencies in Karachi.
It was second attempt on Anwar in little over a month. He survived a gun and grenade attack in early May in which five of the attackers were killed.
Anwar was also attacked by a suicide bomber in April 2012 while traveling home from his office. Four of his security personnel were killed in that incident.
As the top counter- terrorism police officer in Karachi, dozens of TTP militants have been killed in operations under his com- mand in the past few months, according to local officials.
Police and paramilitary Rangers have been carrying out a major cleanup in the city since 2013 which has reduced the level of violent crime.
Pakistan has also been battling a homegrown Islamist insurgency which flared following the U. S.- led invasion of neighboring Afghanistan in 2001.
The military said Saturday “2,763 terrorists” had been killed since the launch of a major offensive against militants in a northwest tribal border region a year ago.
Initially confined to the western border areas, the insurgency later spread to major cities and has claimed thousands of ian lives since 2004.
Gunmen stormed a bus in Karachi carrying members of the Shiite Ismaili minority community last month, killing 45 people in the first attack in the country officially claimed by the Islamic State group.
Karachi, Pakistan’s economic heart and home to some 18 million people, is rife with criminal, ethnic, political and sectarian killings which claim hundreds of lives each year.
In other violence, gunmen shot dead four Punjabi speaking people in two incidents Saturday in Quetta, capital of oil and gas rich Baluchistan province, officials said.
A gunman on a motorbike killed two men in a barber shop, home minister Sarfaraz Bugti said.
In the second incident, he said two gunmen riding a bike entered a welding shop and shot dead two people, adding three others were wounded, including a Baluchi.
Punjabi is the main language spoken in Pakistan’s most populous Punjab province.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but Baluch separatists demanding more autonomy and control over the province’s natural resources have frequently targeted nonBaluch people and security forces.