February 5, 2024
ISLAMABAD – Ten cops were martyred while six were injured in a late-night attack on the Chodwan police station in Dera Ismail Khan on Monday, police said.
The attack comes three days before the general elections are scheduled to take place on February 8 (Thursday).
Regional Police Officer (RPO) Nasir Mehmood confirmed the casualties to Dawn.com.
“More than 30 terrorists launched an attack from three directions. There was an exchange of fire for over two-and-a-half hours,” Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police chief Akhtar Hayat Gandapur told AFP.
Gandapur told AFP the attackers briefly seized control of the police station during the assault in the early hours of Monday.
Malik Aneesul Hassan, the deputy superintendent of police in Draban, told Reuters that after entering the building, the militants “used hand grenades which caused more casualties to the police”.
Security concerns in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan have risen as both provinces have witnessed multiple attacks over the past few days.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the security apparatus had reviewed the law and order situation last week, stating that polls would be held at their scheduled time.
Caretaker KP Chief Minister Justice (rtd) Arshad Hussain Shah condemned the attack and expressed his grief over the loss of lives.
In a statement, he conveyed his condolences to the families of the martyrs and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured.
CM Shah said KP police had rendered “eternal sacrifices” for peace in the province and that “such cowardly attacks would not demoralise them”.
He asserted that the government would help the bereaved in “every way possible”.
Rise in terror activities
Last week, 24 terrorists were killed during firefights and clearance operations in the Mach and Kolpur towns of Balochistan in three days, after security forces had thwarted three “coordinated attacks”.
Four security personnel and two civilians had embraced martyrdom during the operations.
On Wednesday, an independent candidate was shot dead in the Siddiqabad area of KP’s Bajaur district while on the same day, a worker of the Awami National Party (ANP) was killed during the party’s election campaign in Balochistan’s Qila Abdullah.
The next day, at least 10 bomb and grenade attacks rocked different areas of Balochistan in a single day, resulting in the death of one man.
Pakistan has recently witnessed an uptick in terror activities, especially in KP and Balochistan.
According to an annual security report issued by the Centre for Research and Security Studies, Pakistan witnessed 1,524 violence-related fatalities and 1,463 injuries from 789 terror attacks and counter-terror operations in 2023 — marking a record six-year high.
KP and Balochistan were the primary centres of violence, accounting for over 90 per cent of all fatalities and 84pc of attacks, including incidents of terrorism and security forces operations.