Deadly terror attack on Pakistan police station, 10 cops killed
According to police, the terrorists entered the police station at around 3 am, sniping out the guards standing around it
At least 10 police officials were killed and six critically injured in yet another seemingly targeted attack on a police station in Dera Ismail Khan in the early hours of Monday.
The attack intensifies the tense, sensitive and critical situation in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, with an increase in terror attacks a mere four days before polling day on 8 February.
According to the police, terrorists entered the Chodhwan police station at around 3.00 am on Monday, 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 among the police," said Malik Anees ul Hassan, deputy superintendent of police, Draban.
Police sources also revealed that the attack was carried out by at least 30 terrorists, who came in 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 assaults 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 8 February across the country.
Just over a month ago, at least 23 soldiers were killed after militants rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into a security forces post in Dera Ismail Khan district. The car bomb was followed by a suicide attack, which felled the building.
Dera Ismail Khan district has been under the shadow of terror attacks for some time, especially since the announcement of polling day. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has also taken note of the ongoing terror attacks and has held an emergency meeting with security officials.
The attacks have also claimed the lives of candidates from various political parties. An Awami National Party (ANP) activist contesting as an Independent candidate for the National Assembly in KP's Bajaur district was killed at a political rally of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in Qilla Abdullah in Balochistan.
Pakistan People's Party (PPP) candidate Ali Madad Jattak was killed in a grenade attack in Quetta's Sariab Road, while a similar attack claimed the life of Mir Zahoor Buledi in Kech district of Balochistan.
Targeted terror attacks on political rallies and election candidates, especially in KP and Balochistan, including major attacks on security posts and police stations, have raised serious questions about the maintenance of security on election day.