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Friday May 24, 2024

Six martyred as militants attack gas plant in Hangu

TTP claims responsibility; US State Department expresses grief over militant attack

By Our Correspondent
May 24, 2023
Site of the attack seen in this photo provided by reporter.
Site of the attack seen in this photo provided by reporter. 

HANGU: Four personnel of the Frontier Constabulary and two private security guards were martyred when militants stormed a gas and oil plant in Tall area in Hangu district, a police official said on Tuesday.

Deputy Superintendent of Police, Tall, Irfan Khan, said militants equipped with sophisticated weapons attacked the gas plant of MOL Pakistan in Mianjikhel area in Tall Tehsil, Hangu district, at night. He said the personnel bravely fought and protected the plant at the cost of their precious lives. The FC personnel and private security men returned the fire, which continued for over two hours. During the course of exchange of fire between the militants and security men, four FC personnel, identified as Waleed Khan, Hamza Ali, Shariat Khan and Zafar Azam, resident of Domail, and two private security guards, Subedar (retd) Sabz Ali and Wasil Khan, were martyred. In a brief statement the Pakistan Taliban claimed responsibility and said its fighters had “attacked a Frontier Constabulary check post”.The MOL Pakistan runs the plant for exploration of oil and gas in Mianjikhel area in Tall Tehsil, Hangu district. Meanwhile, the MOL Pakistan, in a statement, said that there was an attack on security forces near 2 wells in the MOL-operated TAL Block. “No MOL employee was present at the scene of the attack,” it said, adding, six members of the security forces (belonging to a paramilitary force and 3rd party contractors) guarding the area were martyred. The communique said, “Production from the wells has been temporarily shut down by remote access and the wells are now secured, pending the completion of an on-site regulatory investigation.”

“The attack occurred at a distance from the plant area, and production at the other wells continues uninterrupted. The incident does not affect MOL’s production in Pakistan, said the statement.

Meanwhile, US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller has said they are saddened by the devastating reports of the deadly militant attack on Pakistan’s oil and gas facility.

In a press briefing, he said, “We express our deepest sympathies to the bereaved families and wish speedy recovery to those injured. We are watching developments closely but we understand that responsibility for the attack has not yet been claimed.”

He added, “As we have said earlier, we continue to monitor the situation in Pakistan very closely. We have no position on one political candidate or the other within Pakistan. We demand respect and equal application of democratic principles, freedom of expression, and the rule of law throughout the world and, of course, in Pakistan, we insist that these principles be respected by all people.”