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Gunmen storm police post, kill 4
By Tariq Butt / Agencies August 12, 2018
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ISLAMABAD: At least four policemen were killed and two others sustained injuries when identified gunmen open fire on a police check-post in Kargah Nala area of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) on Saturday, police said.

The mountainous area, whose peaks attract climbers and tourists from around the world, has been comparatively free of the deadly militancy that has plagued other parts of Pakistan for years.

Some six gunmen attacked the check-post in Joot area of Kargah Nala, 40 kilometres from Gilgit, at around 5am, superintendent of police (SP) Gilgit Tanvirul Hassan said.

Twelve police personnel were present at the check-post at the time of the attack.

One of the assailants was killed, and another injured in retaliatory fire by the police, said Hassan. The rest of the assailants fled the scene after dropping their weapons. “The latest attack came in Kargah area where militants attacked a police installation engaging 12 policemen present there,” said Dildar Hussain Malik.

“We have arrested four suspected militants including two wounded in the encounter.” Local police confirmed the incident and said operations were underway to track down the attackers who fled the scene.

Meanwhile, a bus carrying a team working on the Saindak project was attacked by a suicide bomber near Dalbandin bypass in Dalbandin, Balochistan.

The team, which included foreigners, was under the protection of the 75 Wing of the Frontier Constabulary (FC).

It was on its way to Dalbandin from Saindak district in Chaghi when it was targeted by the suicide bomber.

Security officials said the bomber attacked from a Zamyad truck, an Iranian-manufactured vehicle used to transport oil. The truck was completely destroyed. The bus being used to transfer the team was also heavily damaged.

At least three foreigners and three FC soldiers were injured. The nature of their injuries is yet to be ascertained. They have been shifted to Arab Hospital Dalbandin and are receiving treatment, and are reported to be in stable condition.

Local administration and police officials said that three foreign nationals, two paramilitary soldiers from their security detail, and the bus driver were wounded in the attack.

“The attacker, waiting in a small truck along the route... (detonated) the vehicle when the bus carrying Chinese engineers came close to him,” said Dostain Dashti, a senior police officer in the region, around 340km southwest of the provincial capital Quetta.

Saifullah Khaitran, a senior local administration official, confirmed the attack, adding that all the injured were in stable condition.

Ethnic Baloch insurgents later claimed responsibility for the attack.

“We targeted this bus which was carrying Chinese engineers,” Jihand Baloch, a spokesperson for Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), told AFP by phone.

“We attacked them because they are extracting gold from our region, we won’t allow it.”

Balochistan is home to a long-running ethnic insurgency aimed at seeking greater control over the province’s abundant mineral resources.

The engineers were working on the Saindak project, Khaitran said, a joint venture between Pakistan and China to extract gold, copper and silver from an area close to the Iranian border.

Muhammad Ibrahim, the driver of the targeted bus, told AFP from his hospital bed that he had averted major loss by slamming the brakes before the bus hit the attacker’s vehicle.

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