Rawalpindi - The armed assailants launched a brazen attack on relatives of a local journalist on account of publishing a report against some high and mighty of the area, leaving 10 persons injured, reliable sources disclosed to The Nation yesterday. However, police claimed two groups clashed each other on old enmity in Chakbeli Khan Bazaar during which five people got injured. No case was lodged till filing of this report.

According to sources, a group of 20 people including Abdul Qayyum and Arif of Raika Maira and Rupar Kalan areas reached Chakbeli Bazaar on Sunday last and tried to kidnap a local journalist Chaudhry Masood Jilani but locals came forward to rescue him. The kidnappers whipped out weapons and started scaring the locals, sources said. Later, the kidnappers fled while warning the journalist to avoid publishing news against them in media.

The sources added that on Monday, a group of 10 people having lethal weapons again attacked some relatives of Masood Jilani who were sitting in main bazaar of Chakbeli Khan. The armed men started indiscriminate firing and as a result 10 people including a student sustained bullet wounds. The attackers managed to escape from crime scene. Rescue 1122 rushed to the site and shifted the injured to Basic Health Unit Chontra and later some of them were moved to District Headquarters Hospital Rawalpindi because of their serious condition. The injured are identified as Zaheer Jilani, Imtiaz Ali Khan, Salim, Imran (student), Lal, Tahir and Riasat, according to hospital sources. The local journalist lodged a complaint against the attacker with Chontra police station for registration of case. Nonetheless, police had not filed the case till filing of this report.

A police officer of Chontra, when contacted, confirmed the incident saying the motive behind the bloody clash was an old enmity. He said the high-ups of Saddar Circle have been mulling over lodging case under 7 ATA as the firing incident took place of public place which terrorised the people. Meanwhile, Police arrested a notorious drug peddler Abrar Ali Bhatti from a biscuit factory on Dhamial Road during an action and recovered more than 1-kg hashish from his possession.

Meanwhile, police carried out a search operation in the limits of police station Civil Line to purge the localities of anti-social elements and suspects, informed police spokesman SI Imran Haider yesterday.

The search operation was conducted in areas of Fort Road, Jhelum Road and surroundings of Army Public School and College. During the operation, police checked 85 houses and grilled 178 individuals, he informed.