KARACHI - Two more traffic police officials were killed in a targeted attack on the city’s busiest road, Shahrah-e-Pakistan, here yesterday.

The incident took place at around 1:57pm when the policemen were on duty under Ayesha Manzil Flyover, Shahrah-e-Pakistan. While quoting witnesses, the police said two young assailants on a motorcycle came close to the police personnel and shot them in their heads, killing both on the spot. After committing the crime, they managed to escape. Their bodies were shifted to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for medico-legal formalities. The deceased were identified as Shakeel Ahmed and Muhammad Akram.

Extra contingent of law-enforcers, including Rangers and police, reached the site and collected evidence. District West Police chief DIG Feroz Shah who visited the crime scene said the deceased were wearing bulletproof jackets, but the armed assailants shot them in their heads. “We have found only one single empty shell of 9mm pistol from the crime scene, which will be sent to the forensic division.”

The witnesses claimed the armed assailants fled with the official weapon of one of the slain policemen. DIG Shah, however, denied the claim. The police said they had also obtained CCTV footage which was not so clear, but would be helpful in the investigations.

Usually, four traffic policemen remain on duty at the site, but there were only two cops at the time of the incident. “The incident took place when the other two officials had gone to the mosque to offer Zohr prayers,” said Traffic ADIG Tahir Noorani.

Counter-Terrorism Department’s officials suspected the banned outfits could have been behind the attack. “This attack has resemblance with the previous ones,” said CTD senior official Raja Omar Khattab. “In Karachi , al-Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi are getting strength,” he added.

Later, extra contingent of Rangers and police cordoned off a residential apartment, Nawaz Court at Water Pump Chowrangi, Federal B Area, within an hour of the incident and apprehended nearly half a dozen suspects. Those detained were allegedly supporters of Muttahida Qaumi Movement. The police also seized a computer from the site. The suspects were taken to an undisclosed location for interrogation.

Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah and Home Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal took immediate notice of the incident and asked the IGP to submit a report besides arresting the culprits as soon as possible.

The IGP briefed the chief minister on the incident and vowed to arrest the culprits very soon. The chief minister also directed the IGP to take proper care of the family members of the slain traffic policemen.

 

 

It is worth mentioning that this is the first incident of targeting traffic policemen this year. In 2015, six traffic policemen were killed in as many attacks by unknown assailants in various parts of the city, including Sher Shah, Malir and Gulshan-e-Iqbal.

Following the trend of attacks on traffic policemen, the Sindh police had issued bulletproof jackets and sophisticated weapons like submachine guns (SMG), MP-5 rifles and standard issue pistols, to traffic policemen on duty in Karachi to avoid such attacks.

Over half a dozen traffic cops have been killed since 2015, but the police and Rangers busy in conducting the Karachi operation for over two-and-a-half-years, failed to arrest those involved in the series of targeted attacks on traffic cops in the city.