Karachi: Gunbattle raging after attack on police compound in Pakistan’s Karachi

Karachi: Gunbattle raging after attack on police compound in Pakistan's Karachi

KARACHI: A gunbattle was raging Friday night inside a Pakistan police compound in the port city of Karachi, officials and witnesses said, just weeks after a bomb blast at a police mosque in the country’s northwest killed over 80 officers.
The police are frequent targets of attacks by militants from Pakistan’s Taliban as well as rebels from various separatist groups in the western Balochistan province.
Officials and witnesses said unidentified gunmen entered the tightly-guarded Karachi Police Office compound that is home to dozens of administrative and residential buildings.
Hundreds of officers live inside the compound with their families.
“They used a rocket on the gate,” interior minister Rana Sanaullah told Samaa TV.
“Terrorists are armed with grenades and other weapons.”
He said police reinforcements and paramilitary rangers had surrounded the area.
“They are trying to reach inside the building to neutralise the terrorists,” he added.
Firing could still be heard two hours after the gunbattle started.
An AFP reporter near the scene saw dozens of ambulances and security vehicles arrive outside the compound.
Two security officers — a policeman and a ranger — had been treated for wounds, a source at Karachi’s Jinnah Hospital told AFP.
Karachi is by far Pakistan’s biggest city, a sprawling metropolis of over 20 million people and the main trade gateway at its Arabian Sea port.
Low-level militancy, often targeting security checkpoints in the north and west, has been steadily rising since the Taliban seized control in neighbouring Afghanistan in August 2021.
The assaults are claimed mostly by the Pakistani Taliban, as well as the local chapter of the Islamic State, but separatists from Balochistan have struck over the years in Karachi, capital of the southern Sindh province.
Investigators blamed an affiliate of the Pakistani Taliban for the January 31 blast at a mosque inside a police compound in Peshawar that killed more than 80 officers.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan share a common lineage and ideals with the Afghan Taliban.
Provinces around the country announced they were on high alert after the January blast, with checkpoints ramped up and extra security forces deployed.
“There’s a general threat across the country but there was no specific threat to this place,” interior minister Sanuallah said of Friday’s Karachi attack.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *