KARACHI: In the second terror strike in the metropolis within month, half a dozen gunmen targeted a police mobile near the Jamia Darul Uloom Karachi in the Korangi district, leaving three policemen dead.
A 10-year-old boy was also killed in the attack that occurred in the evening in the Awami Colony police limits. A similar attack had left four policemen dead in the SITE area on June 23.
Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) Qamaruddin, Police Constable (PC) Babar Ali and Head Constable (HC) Afzal of the Awami Colony Police Station had been carrying out routine snap-checking for about 20 minutes when six terrorists on three motorcycles pulled up near their van, and the three pillion riders opened fire.
ASI Qamaruddin and PC Babar Ali died on the spot, while HC Afzal suffered serious wounds. A 10-year-old boy, Zahid, was also killed and an 11-year-old boy, Abid, suffered injuries in the attack.
After being called to the scene, police took the casualties to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), where HC Afzal succumbed to his injures.
At the time of the attack, none of the cops was wearing the bullet-proof vest. Their vests were lying in the van.
Talking to The News, Raja Umer Khattab, incharge of the Transnational Terrorists Intelligence Group (TTIG) of Sindh’s Counter Terrorism Department (CTD), said the shooters used 9mm pistols in the offence.
He said police found 45 bullet shells at the scene and sent them to the forensic division for examination.
Khattab further said that the terrorists were wearing shalwar kameez and pants and shirts. He said no footage of the crime was available immediately, but investigators were searching for cameras at nearby locations for obtaining footage of the fleeing terrorists.
The senior anti-terror police officer said the slain cops suffered multiple bullet wounds, mostly to the torso and face and head.
He likened the Korangi attack to the one that occurred on June 23, when ASI Mohammad Yousuf and PCs Shabbir, Khalid and Israr (driver) were shot dead at the Iftar time near Habib Bank Chowrangi in the SITE-A police remit.
Khattab suspected the involvement of the same militant group, i.e. Ansarul Sharia Pakistan, which was involved in earlier attacks on law enforcers in the city.
He added that the policemen had been deployed at that place near the Jamia Darul Uloom for security duty, and it seemed that the terrorists had monitored them before carrying out the attack.
He maintained that the organisation had earlier targeted Colonel Naji and was suspected to be involved in murdering policemen in the Dhoraji area recently.
Khattab said the terrorist organisation was said to have originated in Libya, where it targeted law enforcers, especially police officials, and was also involved in sectarian killings.
ASI Qamaruddin belonged to Kandhkot, Sindh, PC Babar Ali lived in Korangi and HC Afzal was a resident of the Landhi area.
A medico-legal officer said the victims were targeted from a distance of six to seven feet.
SOP not followed
Karachi police chief Ghulam Qadir Thebo, who took over charge from his predecessor Mushtaq Mehar recently, said that the incident showed gross negligence on the part of the victims, who were not wearing their bullet-proof vests at the time of the attack.
He said that soon after assuming office, he had told his subordinates in a meeting to ensure all cops followed the SOP strictly because they were facing a serious threat.
Thebo told The News that the SHO and the DSP of the area had been suspended and a departmental inquiry had been launched.
He said the investigators were looking at the incident from two angles. He suspected the involvement of either the Ansarul Sharia Pakistan, which killed four cops in the SITE-A area, or that of a new group which shot dead two activists of the Pak Sarzameen Party in Orangi Town earlier this month.
Rangers vow justice
Sindh Rangers Director General (DG) Maj-Gen Mohammad Saeed expressed sorrow over the martyrdom of the policemen, saying that such attacks could not demoralise the law enforcers.
According to the spokesman for the paramilitary force, Maj-Gen Saeed said that the terrorists would be brought to justice soon.
CM seeks report
Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah took cognizance of the terror incident in Korangi and directed Sindh Inspector General of Police AD Khowaja to submit a report to him at the earliest.
He asked the provincial police chief to explain whether it was a target killing incident or it occurred due to some other reason. Shah directed the police authorities to arrest the culprits after cordoning off the surrounding areas. “The targeted operation against the culprits should be launched forthwith an a progress report of the operation should be submitted by tonight.”
Governor slams killings
Governor Mohammad Zubair condemned the firing on the police mobile and said targeting law-enforcement agencies was a conspiracy against law and order in Karachi.
He said the government would never allow this conspiracy to become successful. He said the terrorists would be taken to task. The governor said the police had rendered exemplary sacrifices for peace in the city, and law-enforcement agencies would take the ongoing targeted operation to its logical end.
Four cops gunned down in SITE Area
two cops shot dead in dhoraji
three cops gunned down in korangi