Ten die in attack on Indian police stationArchive
GURDASPUR: Ten people including three civilians were killed on Monday when gunmen wearing army uniforms stormed a police station in northern India near the border with Pakistan, sparking a shootout lasting about 11 hours.
Police said three attackers had been killed in the battle with security forces that began in the early hours of Monday and terrified local residents.
Four police officers including the local superintendent also died in the operation in the usually calm northern state of Punjab.
“The police superintendent fought them bravely but unfortunately he was shot in the head and died on the spot,” said Anand Kumar, part of the special forces team that entered the building.
The assault ended at around 5pm when security forces finally entered the police station where the unidentified gunmen had been holed up.
Local television stations showed scores of special forces personnel flashing victory signs and chanting slogans as they celebrated outside the partially damaged building.
One civilian was killed when the attackers opened fire at a bus station while the other two died at the police station, said Sumedh Singh Saini, director general of police for Punjab.
He told reporters it was “too early to say” who the attackers were.
Five live bombs were recovered from nearby railway tracks, forcing train services to be cancelled.
India’s national security adviser, Ajit Doval, called it “a very serious terrorist attack”, according to NDTV television news channel.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh said he had ordered increased security on the border with Pakistan. Mr Singh will make a detailed statement on the attack in the parliament on Tuesday.
It was the first major attack in Punjab for more than a decade and the state’s Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal blamed a lack of security on the border. “This militancy is a national problem, not a state problem, so it needs to be tackled with a national policy,” he told reporters.
Punjab has largely been spared the kind of violence which erupted in the state when an armed rebellion for a separate Sikh homeland began in 1983. The campaign waned in the early 1990s, but not before about 50,000 people had died in the conflict.
Published in Dawn, July 28th, 2015
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