Four lives, including those of three police officers and an innocent civilian, were tragically lost in a militant attack on a police checkpoint adjacent to the Lachi toll plaza along the Indus Highway in Kohat district.
The assault occurred on a Wednesday morning and unfolded swiftly, with nearby CCTV footage capturing militants approaching the checkpoint. They executed a police officer inside and subsequently launched a grenade attack on two other officers. Regrettably, all three police officers succumbed to their injuries, and a civilian, mistaken for a police officer due to his attire, also fell victim to the ruthless attack.
Additionally, the militants seized two AK-47 rifles and approximately Rs100,000 from the toll plaza. The crime scene indicated the use of a submachine gun and an American-made M-16.
In the aftermath of the attack, a comprehensive search operation was initiated with the deployment of heavy contingents of law enforcement agencies, including the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD). Despite these efforts, the militants managed to evade capture by escaping into the nearby mountainous terrain under darkness. The victims’ bodies were transported to the Kohat Development Authority Teaching Hospital for autopsy.
A poignant funeral service took place at the new police lines, attended by high-ranking officials, including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police chief Akhtar Hayat Khan, General Officer Commanding of IXth Division Maj Gen Zulfiqar Bhatti, Kohat Commissioner Abid Khan, DIG Sher Akbar Khan, and others. The martyred police officers were accorded full honors and laid to rest in their ancestral hometowns.
KP Police Chief’s Statement
Speaking to journalists, the KP police chief highlighted the involvement of non-state actors in militant activities. He underscored the unwavering commitment of all law enforcement and intelligence agencies to identify and apprehend militants, even at the risk of their lives. The security forces remained on high alert to thwart the nefarious intentions of anti-state elements, particularly in parts of Karak and Hangu districts, where they frequently targeted police posts on Parachinar and Rawalpindi highways, using advanced weaponry.
Following a high-level meeting after the funeral, the KP police chief reiterated that militants were targeting police and army officials. He expressed a firm resolve to persist in the fight against militancy until it is completely eradicated and peace is fully restored in the country. Additionally, he acknowledged that militants had targeted police and armed forces in Lakki Marwat and Waziristan through improvised explosive devices and gunfire. He vowed that security forces would not relent in their efforts to eliminate those attempting to sow division in society based on linguistic, religious, and political differences.