|AIG martyred in suicide blast targeting Peshawar police|
Friday, 24 November 2017
AIG martyred in suicide blast targeting Peshawar police
Additional Inspector General (AIG) Headquarters Ashraf Noor was martyred in a suspected suicide blast targeting a police vehicle in Peshawar's Hayatabad area on Friday, police officials told Dawn News.
Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Tahir Khan told Dawn News the blast appeared to be a suicide attack.
The suicide attacker, who was on a motorbike, rammed into the vehicle carrying the AIG and other police officials near Zarghooni Mosque as they were on their way to work this morning, the CCPO said, adding that the attacker then detonated his explosives. The blast left the police vehicle in flames, witnesses added.
Sub-Inspector Ejaz, who was present at the blast site, said that AIG Noor was martyred in the blast. The CCPO confirmed the death of the AIG and added that at least six policemen were injured and shifted to Hayatabad Medical Complex.
SI Ejaz and a rescue official claimed two others ─ a security guard and a driver accompanying the AIG ─ may have lost their lives in the blast, but the reports have not been confirmed.
A rescue emergency officer, Naveed, claimed that the bodies of two dead were transported to a medical facility, one of whom was identified as the AIG, and another a member of his staff named Habibullah.
According to Dawn News, it is the first time a police official of AIG rank has been targeted in Peshawar. AIG Noor was born in Gilgit Baltistan in 1963. He joined the police force in 1989 and was promoted to BS-21 grade earlier this year. He was set to retire in 2023.
Prior to holding the position of AIG HQ, he was appointed AIG Elite Force Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The KP Police Department issued a statement describing the AIG as a "principled and honest man".
"His sacrifice has renewed our resolve to conduct ourselves courageously," the statement said.
"The KP police will continue to stand firm... Each police official from the IGP to a sepoy is ready to lay down their lives in this war [against terrorism]," the statement added.
According to an initial probe report compiled shortly after the attack, the suicide attacker was identified as an 18-20 year old youth.
His bomb contained 15-20 kilograms of explosive material, the report said. He is believed to have been waiting at the site of the blast for the AIG's vehicle, and he rammed into the vehicle at a u-turn.
Evidence has been gathered from the site of the blast for further investigation, the report said.
Following the blast, security officials cordoned off the area and began a search operation in the surrounding area.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.
For decades the city of Peshawar has faced the threat of militants, due to its status as a front line for the ongoing war on terror as well as its proximity to the restless tribal areas and the Pak-Afghan border.
The number of attacks in the country has fallen around 70 per cent over the past year, due to a combination of the military offensive against Taliban bases along the Afghan border and government initiatives to tackle militancy, but attacks on security and civilian targets continue to occur occasionally.
The Pakistan Army had launched Operation Raddul Fasaad earlier this year in the aftermath of a fresh resurgence in terror attacks in the country.
The operation seeks to eliminate the "residual/latent threat of terrorism", consolidating the gains made in other military operations, and further ensuring the security of Pakistan's borders.
Hundreds of suspected terrorists have reportedly either been killed or arrested in raids carried out by security personnel since the start of the operation.