Monday May 27, 2024

KP hit with 4 terrorist attacks in 48 hours

In latest bid, militants attempt to ambush checkpost in Peshawar

By Abubakar Saddiq & Rasool Dawar
July 21, 2023
A damaged view of the building after an attack occurred in the tehsil offices compound in the Bara area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on July 20, 2023. — INP
A damaged view of the building after an attack occurred in the tehsil office's compound in the Bara area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on July 20, 2023. — INP

PESHAWAR: A fourth terror incident occurred in the last 48 hours in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as militants attempted to attack a checkpost in Peshawar on Thursday, but security forces thwarted it.

The province has seen a surge in terrorist attacks — from improvised explosive device blasts to suicide bombings — since late last year when the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) ended its ceasefire with Islamabad.

In the latest attack, which took place late at night, eight terrorists were sent running for their lives when police personnel fought back as the militants tried to attack the Riaz Shaheed Police Post in Peshawar's Sarband area.

Superintendent of Police (SP) Cantt Waqas Rafiq said as a result of police remaining "high alert," the cops could thwart the attack as terrorists tried to target the checkpost at night.

It wasn't the only attempt that militants had made. The checkpost came under attack on June 7. A report from the province's counter-terrorism department showed that 665 militant attacks had taken place in a year — from June 18, 2022, to June 18, 2023 — with the most, 140, taking place in North Waziristan.

The latest attack came hours after suicide bombers targeted a compound in Bara Bazar in Khyber District, martyring four cops and 10 others — including police officers and civilians.

Police officials said cops intercepted two suicide attackers at the police station adjacent to Bara bazaar and the entrance of the tehsil headquarters complex — which houses Bara Police Station, government offices, and a counter-terrorism department (CTD) cell.

The KP police suffered another attack before the Bara ambush, when two cops were martyred, and two others were injured in a firing incident in the Regi area of Peshawar.

Police said that unidentified armed men opened fire on the cops at the entry checkpoint near Regi Model Town Police Station and fled. The martyred were identified as Head Constable Wajid and driver Farman.

Before that, on July 18, a suicide blast took place near security forces' vehicle in Peshawar's Hayatabad area. At least 10 people, including seven law enforcers, sustained injuries in the blast.

In light of the rising militancy, Pakistan's government has warned Afghanistan against providing safe havens to the banned TTP — a terrorist organisation targeting security forces.

The top brass of the Pakistan Army has recently said that sanctuaries and liberty of action available to terrorists of proscribed TTP and other groups of that ilk in Afghanistan is one of the major reasons impacting the security of Pakistan.

Pakistan has witnessed a surge in terrorist attacks following Afghan Taliban's return to power in August 2021 and called upon the interim rulers to take decisive actions against terrorists, including the TTP, responsible for cross-border attacks.

Terror activities in the country have soared by 79% during the first half of 2023, a statistical report released by the independent think tank Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS) showed.

KP interim Information Minister Feroz Jamal said on Geo News' morning show the police are equipped to deal with the rising terrorist activities but also noted that the Afghan government's actions could help curb militancy.

"If there is peace in Afghanistan, there will be peace in Pakistan. Anyone involved in cross-border terrorism should be dealt with [in Afghanistan]," the information minister said.