Pakistan: 3 police officers, civilian killed in pre-dawn militant attack

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but suspicion is likely to fall on the Pakistani Taliban

By AP

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Top Stories

Paramilitary soldiers stand guard in front of the wreckage of a police truck at the site of a roadside bomb blast in Bajaur district, around 14 km from the border with Afghanistan on January 8, 2024.  — AFP file
Paramilitary soldiers stand guard in front of the wreckage of a police truck at the site of a roadside bomb blast in Bajaur district, around 14 km from the border with Afghanistan on January 8, 2024. — AFP file

Published: Wed 10 Jan 2024, 2:03 PM

Last updated: Wed 10 Jan 2024, 5:27 PM

About a dozen armed militants attacked a Pakistani police checkpoint on a highway in the country's northwest before dawn Wednesday, killing three police officers and a civilian before fleeing the scene, authorities said.

The attack on the Lachi checkpoint along the Indus Highway in Kohat, a district in the restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan, triggered a shootout, according to Jabir Khan, a local police official. Officers returned fire and a search was underway to find the assailants, he added.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but suspicion is likely to fall on the Pakistani Taliban, who often target security forces across the country, especially in the northwest near the Afghan border.

The latest attack was the third on police in the past three days in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, bringing to 12 the number of officers killed so far there. On Tuesday, suspected militants shot and killed two police officers assigned to escort polio workers in the district of Bannu. Another two officers were also wounded in that attack, the second targeting a nationwide anti-polio drive.

The day before, on Monday, a roadside bombing that targeted police assigned to protect polio vaccination teams killed seven officers in Mamund, a former stronghold of the Pakistani Taliban near the Afghan border.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for Monday's attack, although the Islamic State group issued a competing claim. Both militant groups are active in the region and have issued competing claims in thee past.

The Pakistani Taliban — also known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP — are a separate group but allied with the Afghan Taliban, who took over Afghanistan in August 2021, following the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces from the country. The takeover emboldened the TTP, who often carry out attacks near the Afghan border and elsewhere in the country.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has also seen a rise in violence with deadly incursions by militants last year. Last January, at least 101 people were killed, mostly police officers, when a suicide bomber disguised as a policeman attacked a mosque in the northwestern city of Peshawar.


More news from World