Three constables killed in Quetta attack
By Azizullah Khan
QUETTA: At least three policemen and a suspected Lashkar-e-Jhangvi militant were killed when unidentified gunmen attacked a senior Pakistani police officer on Saturday, police said.
Nisar Kazmi, a deputy superintendent of police, was critically wounded in the attack that also left two other policemen with bullet injuries. City police chief Parvez Rafi Bhatti said the attack appeared “sectarian” in nature because DSP Kazmi had been investigating a number of attacks on Shia Muslims in Quetta. Police said they later found the body of a suspected assailant who was shot by police during the ambush. Police also found blood on the vehicle the attackers had left behind which indicated one of them might have been injured.
“Four assailants were involved in the attack and one of them was shot in the police fire but his accomplices took him away and left his body in a slum area, about half a kilometre from the scene,” provincial police chief Chaudhry Yaqoob said.
Police also found with the body an AK-47 rifle marked “LJ”, which stands for the banned militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi which was involved in numerous sectarian killings over the past decade. LJ is believed linked to the Al Qaeda network.
Police said Kazmi had been active in hunting down Al Qaeda-linked fighters in Balochistan.
“The gunmen were waiting near his home and opened fire as Kazmi’s vehicle passed by, killing three policemen, seriously wounding the officer and also injuring two others,” a local police officer said.
Kazmi had supervised the investigation that led to the recent arrest of one of the most wanted alleged terrorists, Daud Badini, accused of masterminding the killings of more than 100 Shia Muslims in three attacks in the province since June 2003. Badini last week told a court that he had organised at least three major attacks on Shia Muslims in Quetta.
Police said in the last six months it had arrested more than 10 high-level LJ member in Balochistan including Daud Badini. Those killed included constables Younus Chengezi, Mirza Khan and Khuda Bux, agencies report. Besides Nisar Kazmi the other injured policemen are head constables Qasim Shah and Mohammed Ibrahim. In a separate incident, the security forces arrested Mohammad Sadiq, an LJ activist, in Lahore in connection with an assassination attempt on President Musharraf in December.