Pakistan: At least seven dead in attack on police compound in Karachi

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Pakistan: At least seven dead in attack on police compound in Karachi

Three hours passed before the police regained control of the complex.

At least four people were killed in an attack Friday night by a Pakistani Taliban suicide squad against a major police compound in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city and its economic and financial capital.

Three armed men with explosive vests attacked at around 7:30 p.m. local time a compound consisting of several police buildings and residences housing hundreds of police officers and their families.

For more than three hours, violent exchanges of gunfire and explosions of grenades were heard, before the security forces managed to regain control of the building, the attack ending in the death of the attackers.

Four people were killed in the attack, including two policemen, a [paramilitary] ranger and a cleaner, government spokesman Murtaza Wahab Siddiqui told AFP. of the province of Sindh, of which Karachi is the capital.

The attack killed at least seven people, including two policemen, one paramilitary and a maintenance worker.

The operation ended with the deaths of all three terrorists, he added, bringing the death toll to seven. Preliminary findings suggest three terrorists were involved in the attack.

It came weeks after a January 30 suicide bombing of a mosque in the neighborhood general of the Peshawar police, in which 83 police officers and a civilian were killed.

The Pakistani Taliban Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the assault. Mujahideen attacked the Karachi police office, a TTP spokesman said without further details in a WhatsApp message forwarded to AFP.

L& The attack began when the assailants fired a rocket at the entrance gate of the complex, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah told Samaa TV.

It ended around 10:30 p.m. local time. An AFP correspondent heard two loud explosions followed by several bursts of gunfire.

The attack began around 7:30 p.m., when a rocket hit the entrance gate of the complex.

The reporter had earlier seen dozens of ambulances and police vehicles rushing to the site of the attack.

Karachi, in the south, is a megacity of 20 million people and the country's main commercial gateway with its port overlooking the Arabian Sea.

Pakistan has been facing ever since few months, especially since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in August 2021, to a deterioration in security.

After several years of relative calm, the attacks resumed with renewed vigour, led mainly by the TTP and by ISIS, the regional branch of the jihadist group Islamic State (ISIS).

In the year since the Taliban took over Afghanistan, attacks have increased by 50% in Pakistan, according to the Pakistani institute PIPS.

< p class="e-p">The TTP is a movement distinct from that of the new Afghan leaders, but which shares common roots with it.

In November, the group denounced a fragile ceasefire with Islamabad and promised to carry out attacks throughout Pakistan. Since then, it has multiplied attacks targeting the security forces.

The TTP carried out a suicide attack on January 30 against a mosque located in the Peshawar police headquarters.

Authorities had attributed the Peshawar attack to Jamaat -al-Ahrar, a more radical faction, sometimes affiliated, sometimes splinter, of the TTP, which dissociated itself from this attack.

The country had been placed under high alert after this attack, additional security forces being deployed and checkpoints multiplied.

During the twenty years of American occupation in Afghanistan, after the fall of the previous Taliban regime in 2001, armed groups operating along the border between the two countries had to hide from the eyes of drones.< /p>

But analysts believe they have regained their freedom to maneuver with the return of the Taliban to power. Pakistan accuses them of letting these groups use Afghan soil to plan their attacks, which Kabul denies.

Karachi has already experienced several large-scale attacks in recent years. years, mostly claimed by Baloch separatist groups.

Once again, terrorists attacked Karachi. Such acts of cowardice cannot break the will and determination of the police and law enforcement agencies. The whole nation stands with the police and security organs, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said in a statement.

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