At least 10 police officials were martyred and six others injured after dozens of militants attacked a police station in Dera Ismail Khan early on Monday morning, briefly seizing control of the building before being repulsed.
According to a spokesperson for D.I. Khan Police, militants equipped with sophisticated weapons attacked the Chaudhwan Police Station in Daraban tehsil at around 3 a.m. They said the cops inside the building had retaliated, triggering a gun-battle that continued for around two-and-a-half hours. The militants, they said, eventually escaped under the cover of darkness.
“More than 30 terrorists launched an attack from three directions. There was an exchange of fire for over two-and-a-half hours,” KP Police chief Akhtar Hayat Khan told the AFP news agency, confirming the attackers had briefly seized control of the police station. Following the assault, security forces cordoned off the area and launched a search operation to apprehend the militants. However, no details were provided over whether any terrorists were located.
Officials said the injured cops were shifted to the District Headquarters Teaching Hospital in D.I. Khan. Funeral prayers for the martyred policement, meanwhile, were held at Police Lines. Among the officials who attended the funeral prayers were interim Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Syed Arshad Hussain Shah; Chief Secretary Nadeem Aslam Chaudhry; and the police chief.
Addressing the gathering, the police chief paid rich tribute to the martyred cops for fighting bravely against the militants. He vowed their sacrifices for the country’s stability and the safety of people would not go in vain. There has been a resurgence of terrorism across Pakistan, particularly in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, since the Afghan Taliban returned to power in Kabul in August 2021. Islamabad has accused Kabul of sheltering allied militants such as the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and allowing them to strike on its soil with impunity. Kabul, however, maintains the issue is on of Pakistan’s “internal security.”
Following the funeral, some tensions occurred between relatives of the martyred cops and government officials. A video that has gone viral on social media featured some of the relatives questioning the caretaker chief minister and the police chief over where the militants came from. “Where did they come from? Did they land from the sky? Who gave them passage—did I?” a person asks. “We are being told that we are doing politics [over the bodies],” he adds.