Two Policemen Among Three Shot Dead In Swat, TTP Claims Responsibility

Two Policemen Among Three Shot Dead In Swat, TTP Claims Responsibility
Two police constables and a bank’s security guard were martyred on Thursday when gunmen opened indiscriminate fire near the Sabzi Mandi area of Swat’s Mingora city, as per official reports.

According to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) police, the policemen were on routine duty near the Sabzi Mandi area in Mingora when a some unidentified assailants opened fire at them.

Both policemen, identified as Umra Khan and Ashraf Ali, embraced martyrdom on the spot, while Swat's district police officer (DPO) Safiullah has confirmed that the security guard, Musa Khan, has succumbed to the injuries he sustained in the attack.

According to available reports, the proscribed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Official sources have yet to comment on the authenticity of this claim, as investigations into the incident are ongoing. A search operation had also been initiated to search for the armed assailants who fled the scene.

Meanwhile, bereaved families blocked the Saidu Sharif Road - where government offices are located - in protest, demanding the miscreants behind the attack be arrested. They initially refused to move the martyrs' bodies, but after DPO Safiullah assured the families of action against the suspects, they ended their protest.

Interior minister Rana Sanaullah strongly condemned the attack on police personnel in Mingora, Swat. Expressing profound sorrow and regret, the minister extended his heartfelt condolences to the families of the martyred police officers and the security guard.

Sanaullah eulogized the sacrifices made by the police force, saying the cops had consistently displayed their unwavering dedication and selflessness in ensuring the security of the country and safety of Pakistani citizens. “The police force has rendered everlasting sacrifices for the security of the nation,” the interior minister added.

Meanwhile, multiple attacks were reported to have taken place in different areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Wednesday. A policeman sustained injuries when militants opened fire on the vehicle of Kulachi deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Rashid Khan in Dera Ismail Khan.

On the same day, unknown attackers fired at the vehicle of DPO Abdur Rauf Babar Qaiserani in the Garah Guldad area of the Kulachi tehsil as well. However, no fatalities or injuries were reported, while the attackers fled in both instances.

Also on Wednesday, the Peshawar police 'repulsed' a midnight attack by militants on a checkpost in the Sarband area, on the outskirts of the provincial capital.

Pakistan has witnessed an upsurge in terrorism incidents over the past few months, especially in the restive western provinces of KP and Balochistan, after the TTP ended its ceasefire with the government in November 2022. It has been estimated that the number of terrorist attacks across Pakistan increased by nearly 75% in the 21 months since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan, when compared to the corresponding period before their takeover of Kabul in August 2021.