KARACHI, PAKISTAN — The office of police chief in Pakistan’s largest metropolitan city – Karachi – was attacked by armed militants on Friday evening, resulting in the deaths of at least three terrorists.
The building was later cleared by security officials, who confirmed that the operation was over. The spokesperson for the Sindh Rangers added that the process of clearing the area was underway.
The attack comes after a number of similar incidents in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and areas bordering Afghanistan took place in the recent weeks.
Since the breakdown of talks with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in November last year, the group has intensified its attacks.
The TTP has claimed responsibility for the attack on the Karachi police chief’s office. In 2011, the group claimed responsibility for the attack on PNS Mehran. Three years later, the TTP attacked the Jinnah International Airport of Karachi, resulting in the deaths of 24 people. These incidents have led to an increase in security at airports and culminated in the launch of operation Zarb-e-Azb.
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah commented on the attack, stating that the government was under the impression that the terrorists did not have access beyond KP and Balochistan. However, he noted that the militants were now able to reach other cities.
Extra police contingents and Rangers were called to the site of the attack, which lasted for 17 hours. The attack and ensuing operation resulted in the deaths of 10 security personnel, and two US-manufactured surveillance planes were also destroyed.
“The Karachi Police Office (KPO) building has been cleared. Three terrorists have been neutralised,” said Sindh government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab on Twitter. Speaking to the leading private TV, Geo News, he reiterated that the building had been secured. He said that the bomb disposal squad was checking if the jackets worn by the terrorists were rigged to detonate.
“This was a major operation in which senior police officials, including the South and East DIGs, had participated alongside the Rangers and the army. With grace of Almighty Allah, the KPO and surrounding areas have been cleared of the terrorists completely and further information will be shared with the media soon,” said a spokesperson for the Karachi police.
Despite these efforts, however, militant groups like the TTP continue to pose a significant threat to the country’s security. The attack on the Karachi police chief’s office serves as a grim reminder of the ongoing struggle against terrorism in Pakistan, and the need for continued vigilance and action to protect the country’s people and institutions.