Karachi: SHO among 7 killed in Lyari gunbattle
KARACHI: Seven people, including a station house officer, were killed and at least 17 others wounded in violence in the strife-torn Lyari, where police and armed men exchanged heavy gunfire throughout the day on Saturday. The police continued to face stiff resistance from armed gangsters holed up in the narrow lanes and on rooftops in Lyari, from where they fired rocket–propelled grenades and hurled hand grenades on the law–enforcement personnel. The armed men ambushed an armoured personnel carrier in Afshani Gali within the remit of the Kalakot police station. They sprayed bullets on the APC’s tyres and crippled it.
When the APC become immobile, the armed men incessantly fired on its windshield and the bullets hit the policemen present inside the vehicle. As a result of the firing, as many as five policemen were wounded, said the police. The wounded policemen called their associates to get reinforcement so that they could get out of the troubled spot. Shortly after, another APC was sent, which rescued the wounded policemen.
The wounded were rushed to the Civil Hospital, where Civil Lines SHO Fawad Khan died. Constable Malik Tasawar also died during treatment at the hospital. Other policemen, Muhammad Aslam, Intizar Ali Shah and Iftikhar Ahmed, suffered bullet wounds and were presently under treatment. Moving scenes were witnessed when the wounded were moving out of the APC. Following the ambush, the police brought a tank-like APC (in which chain is used instead of tyres) to move into the hostile territory.
The APC with flat tyres abandoned by the police in the Afshani Gali was later set on fire by suspects. Earlier in the day, a suspect, Mullah Sohail Baloch, a brother of alleged Lyari gangster Mullah Nisar, was killed in the Nawa Lane area. Also in the Kalakot police remit, 27-year-old Shakil and Wahid Baloch, 25, were killed in the crossfire between the police and the gangsters.
Another man, later identified as Luqman, was killed near Afshani Gali while Akhtar Ali, 25, suffered a fatal gunshot wound near the Lyari General Hospital. Around one dozen rockets (RPG-7) and 11 grenades were fired on Saturday by the gangsters. At least four people were wounded in a grenade attack in Agra Taj Colony.
Sources in the Civil Hospital said that out of the 17 wounded brought to the hospital, the condition of five were precarious. CID SP Aslam Khan led the operation in Lyari on a second consecutive day. Dressed in his usual attire of white shalwar-qameez, he claimed the recovery of arms and ammunition and said the LEAs were moving forward in the area and managed to take control of some hideouts of the criminals.
‘Operation to continue’
Inspector General of Sindh Mushtaq Shah said the operation in Lyari would continue till the arrest or death of what he said every terrorist.
He said the outlaws were using sophisticated weapons against the police.
The police engaged in the daylong armed conflict were taken care of by their seniors on Saturday, who supplied food and drinks to them in Lyari.
Karachi police chief Akhtar Husain Ghorchani said the operation was “difficult but not impossible”.
He said that a reasonable strength of police had been deployed in Lyari and an additional force was not required.
Sindh Chief Minister condemned the gun-and-bomb attacks in Lyari and expressed sorrow over the death of SHO Fawad Khan.
The slain police officer, Fawad Khan was inducted in the police department in 1992 and was a law graduate.