Police officers stand in the aftermath of an attack on a police station in Karachi, Pakistan February 17, 2023. [Source: Reuters]
Islamists stormed a police station in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi on Friday, killing two people in a hail of gunfire and a series of loud explosions before they themselves were killed, officials said.
Security forces retook the building after several hours and killed three militants, a government spokesman said. Police commandoes and a bomb disposal squad entered the building and a security sweep was underway.
Two people had been killed and 11 wounded in the militants’ attack, a government spokesman said.
A huge explosion was heard inside the station after a series of blasts when it was first attacked.
The Pakistani Taliban, or Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), took responsibility for the attack in a message sent by their spokesman to journalists.
The station houses offices of the city’s most senior police. Deputy Inspector General Irfan Baloch told Reuters there could have been up to 30 police at the station at the time of the attack.
The Islamist TTP, separate from the Taliban ruling neighbouring Afghanistan, has recently increased attacks on police in the northwest of Pakistan as part of its campaign against the government in Islamabad.
Overseas cricket players are competing in the Pakistan Super League, and Karachi is one of the host cities. There is a game scheduled for Saturday. The police station is located along the route to the stadium and the players’ hotel is a few kilometres away.
Top teams shunned Pakistan for years after six policemen and two civilians were killed in a 2009 attack on a bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore.
Police sealed off traffic on the main thoroughfare through Karachi and heavy contingents of security forces, including paramilitary soldiers, had arrived at the scene.