|Terrorists kill nine trainee cops in Lahore|
13 July 2012
LAHORE: Nine trainee policemen of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Prisons Department were gunned down and eight others injured on Thursday morning by around 10 unidentified terrorists in a hit-and-run attack at a private hostel in Rasool Park area in the Samanabad police precincts.
Seven policemen died on the spot and two succumbed to their injuries at the hospital while the condition of other injured was stated to be out of danger. Officials confirmed the death of nine policemen including Sardar Khan (28), Azmat Janan (27), Muhammad Fayyaz (25), Qamar Zaman (27), Shafqat Rizwan (28), Sharifuddin (29), Muhammad Ali (28), Khuda-e-Noor (30) and Asif.
The injured were identified as Nazir Ali (32), son of Raza Khan, Yasir Maroof (25), son of Maroof, Ayaz (30), son of Abdul Raqeeb, Shareefullah (30), son of Izzat Khan, Rizwan Umar (26), son of Sarbuland, Haleemullah (26), son of Mahmoodul Hassan, Ameer Umar (23), son of Aslam Shaar, and Asad (30), son of Abbul Salam.
The victims belonged to different cities and districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including Peshawar and Chitral.Six terrorists riding three motorbikes and others riding a car, all armed with sophisticated weapons, reached the two-storey hostel situated in the Rasool Park area near Shama Stop on the Ferozepur Road at around 5:52am. They shot dead a jail employee, who was attending a call on his mobile phone outside the gate of the hostel and entered the building, firing indiscriminately. They also hurled two hand grenades soon after entering the building. However, one hand grenade did not explode. The terrorists also chanted slogans of Allah-o-Akbar while spraying the trainee policemen with bullets, eyewitnesses said.
The assailants searched the hostel building and fired bullets into all rooms indiscriminately. The terrorists, who were masked and wearing helmets, targeted the victims on the first floor and then proceeded to the second floor of the building and killed all the boarders there. Two of the terrorists chased some of the cops to the rooftop of the hostel, as they tried to escape the attack, and opened fire on them. The terrorists accomplished their task within 4 to 5 minutes and fled the scene unhindered.
Police removed the bodies to the morgue for autopsy and registered a case against 10 unidentified terrorists at the Samanabad Police Station on the complaint of Muhammad Yousaf, the drill inspector of National Academy of Jail. Case No 590/12 was registered under Sections 302, 324, 148/149 of PPC and Section 7 and 21-L of Anti-Terrorism Act.
Meanwhile, the Punjab Home Department sources said there were intelligence reports that sensitive buildings or law-enforcement agencies could be attacked, and authorities concerned were informed about it well in time.
Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Aslam Tarin said the jail administration had not informed the Lahore police that the place was being used as a hostel for the trainee jailers.
Inspector General of Police, Punjab, Haji Habibur Rehman, constituted an eight-member committee headed by CCPO Lahore Aslam Tarin to probe the incident. The members include SSP Investigation Abdul Razzaq Cheema, SP Investigation Iqbal Town and senior officers from the Special Branch and Counter-Terrorism Department.
A senior officer of the Punjab Prisons Department told this correspondent that the Ministry of Interior was governing the said academy and it had no link with the Punjab Prisons Department.
“It is strange that Masood Khan, the director general/principal of the academy, had neither informed the Lahore police about the presence of trainees for security nor provided security cover to the unarmed employees,” said a source.
Talking to The News by telephone, KP IG Jails Department Khalid Abbas Khan said it was the responsibility of the local police and academy administration to provide security to the trainees. He said he had recommended action against the director general of the academy, Masood Khan, as he had shown negligence in providing security to the trainees.
To a question, Khalid Abbas Khan said they had not received information from any intelligence agency about the threat of an attack, saying that it was the first attack of its kind. “I will not send any recruit now till complete assurance of security,” he said.
On being informed, Rescue 1122 and Edhi ambulances reached the spot and rushed the victims to the Services Hospital. A heavy contingent of police also reached the scene after 20 minutes of the incident and cordoned off the area. Forensic experts also reached the scene and collected evidence. Police also recovered a helmet, which was used by one of the terrorists, and found AK-47 shell casings at the crime scene.
The crime scene was littered with blood and every room presented a horrific scene, as the belongings of young trainees were also soaked with blood.
At the time of the attack, some of the employees had gone to a nearby mosque for Fajr prayers. Shafique, the cook of the hostel, was preparing breakfast on the first floor of the hostel when he heard gunshots and hid himself in a toilet under the stairs of the upper portion. The cook and another employee, who also took refuge in the same toilet, survived the attack.
One of the injured told this correspondent that he, along with another colleague, jumped from the rooftop to save his life. His leg was fractured and he received other injuries also. He said the assailants were chanting slogans of Allah-o-Akbar while firing shots. He said around 32 trainees were staying at the hostel since July 2 and were to pass out on July 28.
Another trainee, who was staying in the Camp Jail Hostel, told this correspondent that one of the unarmed trainees used to guard the hostel daily from 5-10 pm. No other security was, however, provided to the trainees at the private hostel. It was also learnt that the Punjab Prisons Department had hired the private hostel in 2007 and was bearing all its expenses.
Ali Naveed, an eyewitness who lives in front of the hostel, told The News that he heard gunshots and came out of his home immediately. He said he saw a masked man entering the building and then heard the sound of gunshots. He said the terrorists left the scene on three motorbikes. He said after the Manawan terror attack, the area people had approached the Samanabad Police Station with a request to shift the hostel somewhere else, but to no avail.
Malik Liaqat, who owned a shop adjacent to the hostel, was present there at the time of the attack. The attackers asked him to go away and then started firing.
The incident created panic in the locality and hundreds of people, including children and women, rushed to the scene. The neighbours emerged on rooftops and balconies of their houses to witness the rescue operation. The area people said the terrorists brought arms and ammunition in abundance.
Police investigators termed the attack a sequel of various terror attacks, including the Bannu jail attack, the Babu Sabu Interchange attack and Gujrat attack.
Our Peshawar Bureau adds: The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the death of the nine Prison Department personnel from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Lahore and said they were killed as the attitude of the jail police with the Taliban prisoners is always “inhuman and insulting”.
“As I have stated earlier, we have shifted our operations out of the tribal areas. This is our second attack in which we killed nine police personnel of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa jail department. We were looking for them for a long time as their attitude with our people in jails is very inhuman and insulting,” TTP spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan said.
The Taliban spokesman said they would continue attacks in the Punjab and elsewhere in the country. He claimed that their organisation has now become an international network of all militant groups, having people from Bangladesh, India, the Middle East and even Europe. He said that everyone was allowed to operate in their own areas against their governments and military establishments.
Agencies add: President Asif Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf strongly condemned the incident of terrorism. Taking serious notice of the incident, the president called for a detailed report and directed for the best possible medical assistance to the injured. In a statement, the prime minister said such incidents would strengthen the resolve of the government and people to fight the menace of terrorism and extremism.
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