Hunza News

Spreading panic: Dozens of uniformed masked men storm police station

Share This Post

GILGIT:At least two dozen armed men dressed as security officials stormed a police station in Darel Valley of Gilgit-Baltistan early Friday morning and made off with arms, ammunition and uniforms.

HunzaNews, July 5th, 2014.

“This incident occurred at around 1am in Darel Valley,” said a Chilas police official. “The armed men, who had covered their faces, rushed into Dadoshal police station and held everyone hostage at gunpoint.”

They tied up the policemen on duty and asked them to abandon government service or face the consequences, the official added. The brazen attack has alarmed residents and fueled speculation over possible infiltration of terrorists from North Waziristan Agency (NWA), where a full-scale military operation is forcing militants to flee. Geographically, NWA is far from Gilgit-Baltistan, but can be accessed via Kohistan district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa that shares a boundary with Diamer Valley.

According to sources, at least 40 men took part in the pre-dawn attack. The assailants also broke open drawers and collected whatever was available before fleeing. “They took away five Kalashnikovs, three G-3 rifles, five semi-automatic rifles, three pistols, 2,000 bullets, and police uniforms,” said a source, adding the masked men also asked for details of passenger buses travelling between Rawalpindi and Gilgit-Baltistan on the Karakoram Highway.

“All I can say on the basis of the initial information [we gathered] is that the men were locals,” said Diamer Valley SP Muhammad Naveed. Talking to The Express Tribune, he said the men seemed to be well-trained and unlike ordinary criminals wanted by the police in routine cases. Following the military operation in NWA, Diamer police had stepped up action against criminals at large. In the process, their homes were put under surveillance and relatives arrested to force them to surrender. “This incident could be a reaction to that police action, but we cannot rule out a possible link with the NWA operation,” said the SP.

Following the assault, traffic on the highway after dark was banned to ensure the safety of passengers. Meanwhile, the police sent out a raiding party to hunt down the terrorists, who are believed to have crossed over into Kohistan. Inspector General Muhammad Saleem Bhatti has also reached Chilas to monitor the situation.

Darel Valley is located 25 kilometres from Chilas, the headquarters of Diamer Valley, near where armed men wearing Gilgit Scout uniforms recently killed 10 foreign mountaineers and a local guide at the foot of Nanga Parbat. Two months later, the investigators of the incident – a senior police superintendent, army colonel and a captain – were also killed in an ambush in Chilas town.

Express Tribune

More To Explore