LAHORE: Masked gunmen stormed a house and killed nine police cadets in Rasool Park,Ichra area of Lahore today, police said, the second attack on security forces claimed by the Taliban in relatively peaceful Punjab province in four days.
Lahore city police chief Aslam Tareen said eight policemen were also wounded.
“At around 6am, masked gunmen on three motorcycles stormed the house and opened fire. The victims were trainees at the Punjab Jail Academy,” Tareen said.
Many of the police were from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa near the border with Afghanistan, a hotbed of Pakistan’s insurgency.
TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said the police from that region had been targeted because they treated Taliban detainees poorly.
“We were looking for them for a long time as their attitude with our people in jails is very inhuman and insulting,” he said by telephone from an undisclosed location.
According to police sources, the accused came on motorcycles and a car and gunned down the trainees who belonged to Jails department,Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
They were getting training at National Jail Academy Punjab and residing in a rented two-storey building in the densely populated area of Ichra
According to our correspondent, Punjab police was completely unaware that a training was conducted in the area and all the responsibility lies with the jail authorities.
As per the information, During the training policemen do not have any weapons so the attackers easily targeted them inside their compound premises.
Eight police trainees embraced martyrdom on the spot. Their names are–Khudai Noor, Shafqat Rizwan, Qamaruz Zaman, Sharifuddin, Muhammad Ali, Muhammad Fayyaz, Sardar Khan and Azmat Janan while one Asif s/o Jehangir died at Services Hospital.
Under treatment injured trainees include Asad s/o Abdul Salam,Jafar s/o Maroof, Nazar s/o Raza Khan, Ayaz s/o Abdul Raqeeb,Shareefullah s/o Ezat Khan, Muhammad Rizwan s/o Sarbuland, Haleemullah s/o Mehmood ul Hassan and Amir s/o Alam Sher.
Inspector General of Police Punjab Haji Habib ur Rehman inspected the site.He strongly condemned this act of blatant terrorism.
While talking to media, IG said that terrorist incidents of Gujrat and Ichra might be linked and acts of same gang. He further said the building
where terrorist incident occurred was hired by Prison Department. He said thorough investigation would be carried out as to why the police trainees were not given complete security.
He explained that the incident occurred at 5:30 am when ten persons riding motorcycles and a car entered the private building in Ichra and gunned down the trainees.
He said this “terrorism” has same pattern as of recent incidents in Gujrat and Babu Sabu.IGP stressed that the culprits involved in terrorism would be nabbed soon.
CCPO Muhammad Aslam Tareen also visited the site and told briefed mediamen that police was not informed of police trainees residence in the area.He added that trainees would have been given proper security otherwise.
He said that Prison department should have provided security facilities to under training police personnel.
Later, IG Punjab and CCPO visited Services Hospital and inquired after the police trainees who got injured in terrorist attack. The IG directed the hospital adminstration to ensure proper health treatment facilities to the injured.
Meanwhile,IG Punjab has constituted eight member committee to investigate the terrorism incident. Capital City Police Officer Muhammad Aslam Tareen would supervise the committee.
The committee comprising SSP Investigation,SP CIA,SP CTD,SP Special Branch, SP Investigation Model Town and two officers of major ranks of ISI and MI would assist the members of the committee.
On Monday, gunmen killed six soldiers and a policeman at a riverside military encampment in eastern Pakistan, 100 km (60 miles) north of Lahore. The TTP also claimed responsibility for that attack. (Agencies)