Counter-ter­ror cop sur­vives Tal­iban attack in Pak­istan

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

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.

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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.

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