Terrorists attack Karachi police office on Sharea Faisal

Heavily armed terrorists barged into a police office on Karachi’s main Sharea Faisal highway on Friday evening, with loud sounds of gunfire and explosions echoing though the surrounding area.

Police sealed off traffic on the main road through the city and heavy contingents of security forces, including paramilitary soldiers, had arrived at the scene. An operation was launched to clear the Karachi Police Office (KPO) of the terrorists.

According to sources, two Special Service Group (SSG) teams of Pakistan Army are leading the ongoing clearance operation. Troops of Special Operations Wing (SOW) of Pakistan Rangers Sindh are participating in the clearance operation, they added.

Sindh police chief Ghulam Nabi Memon said two terrorists have been killed so far while the KPO building has been not been declared cleared yet.

DIG South Irfan Baloch said that at least six terrorists managed to enter the Karachi Police Chief’s office through rear entrance. He said that top police officers were present in the building.

“A heavy contingent of police and rangers has arrived. We are trying to arrest terrorists dead or alive,” he said.

Security officials said terrorists started firing indiscriminately as soon as they barged into the office. Loud explosions were heard several minutes later, with one powerful explosion on the fourth floor shattering glass windows and damaging parts of the building.

DIG South Irfan Baloch said the powerful explosion took place when an apparent suicide bomber detonated his explosives on the fourth floor.

The bomb disposal squad has been called in, he added.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) took responsibility for the attack in a message sent by their spokesman to journalists, according to Reuters.

In an update, Adviser to the Sindh Chief Minister Murtaza Wahab said the KPO is a five-storey building with three floors have been cleared of terrorists so far by the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) including police, army and Rangers.

“Army snipers are also present to deal with the terrorists at the rooftop,” he said adding that the LEAs have also reached the rooftop of the KPO building.

Sindh Rangers spokesperson said in a statement that Rangers Quick Response Force (QRF) reached the scene and cordoned off the area upon receiving the information about the attack on KPO.

Rangers started an operation against the terrorists along with the Sindh police.

Initially, the operation was launched on the information of the presence of 8 to 10 armed terrorists inside the KPO building, the spokesperson added.

In a statement, DIG East Muqaddas Haider said he was inside the building along with the police commandos.

First floor has been cleared of terrorists while forces are facing resistance from militants present on the roof, he added. He said terrorists are armed with modern weapons.

However, police sources said four terrorists present on the roof of the building are wearing suicide jackets.

SSP South Asad Raza said snipers have been deployed on the building in front of the KPO to target the terrorists from there.

Sindh IGP Ghulam Nabi Memon said in statement that at least two terrorists have been killed and some others injured.

“We are trying to complete the operation as soon as possible,” he added.

At least four injured including two Rangers personnel, one policeman and an Edhi rescue official have been brought to Jinnah Hospital, according to rescue officials.

kpooperationexpress1676650651 0A view of ongoing operation inside the Karachi Police Office. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Meanwhile, security sources have disclosed that the number of terrorists who attacked the Karachi Police Office (KPO) is eight.

“Four attackers are present on the roof of the building while four are on the floors,” security sources added.

They added that as many as four injured and two dead bodies have been shifted to Jinnah Hospital so far.

Police in a statement said the third floor of KPO has been cleared of the terrorists while operation is underway to eliminate terrorists from fourth floor and the roof of the police office.

karachipolicereuters1676650177 0Police officers take position after a police office building was attacked by gunmen in Karachi, Pakistan February 17, 2023. PHOTO: REUTERS

Police officials said following the attack, the police personnel retaliated immediately and personnel from other police stations and police commandos have also been summoned to deal with the emergency situation.

Additional IG Javed Alam Odhu has confirmed the attack on the police office, saying that the security personnel are fighting the terrorists while a heavy contingent of Rangers has also reached the spot.

SSU commandos and Rangers officials have entered the police office and the electricity of the office has been suspended.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has taken notice of the attack and directed district inspector generals (DIGs) to send necessary police force from their respective zones to the scene.

In a statement, he directed the officials to immediately arrest the culprits.

“The attack on the Karachi Police Chief’s office is not acceptable in any case. I want a report of the incident from the officer concerned,” he was quoted as saying in the statement.

CM Murad also reached the scene and monitoring the operation from the control room.

The state-run PTV news reported that Pakistan Rangers and elite police force have cordoned off the area near AIG Office Karachi and a counter terrorist operation has been launched against the terrorists.

“According to incoming reports hand grenades and automatic guns were used by no less than eight terrorists,” it added.

Speaking to the media, Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon condemned the attack, saying that terrorists have tried to challenge the provincial government’s writ.

CM Murad is personally monitoring the operation against terrorists and police and Rangers will not let the terrorists to achieve their sinister objectives, he added.

He also denied that the provincial government had received any terror alert regarding any attack.

Foreign Minister and PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari condemned the terrorist attack on Karachi police.

“Sindh police have bravely faced and crushed terrorism before. We have full faith they will do so again… such cowardly attacks will not deter us,” he wrote on his official Twitter handle.

Sindh government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab said at least two people including one policeman and one civilian have been martyred in the attack.

“So far I can confirm that we have 1 policeman & 1 civilian who have embraced martyrdom. While 3 rangers personnel, 2 policemen & 1 policeman are injured so far,” he wrote on his official Twitter handle.

This is a developing story and will be updated accordingly…

 

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