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Militant Attack on Police Station Claims Lives of 10 Officers Ahead of Pakistan’s General Elections

In a pre-dawn assault on Monday, militants targeted a police station in northwest Pakistan, resulting in the tragic loss of at least 10 police personnel, with six others sustaining injuries, according to authorities. The attack unfolded around 3 a.m. local time (2200 GMT Sunday), as militants utilized sniper fire and later infiltrated the police station in Pakistan’s Draban region within the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

Deputy Superintendent of Police in Draban, Malik Anees ul Hassan, revealed that the assailants, after gaining entry, employed hand grenades, exacerbating the casualties among the police force. The motive behind the attack and its potential connection to the upcoming general elections remained unclear.

This incident adds to the escalating violence preceding the elections. Earlier in the week, a national assembly candidate was fatally shot in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, while another political leader met a similar fate in Balochistan province. Additionally, a bomb attack during an election rally in Balochistan claimed four lives, with the Islamic State claiming responsibility.

Draban, recognized as a stronghold of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party, has been a focal point of political and security concerns. The party’s leader, Maulana Fazal Ur Rehman, recently met with the Taliban’s supreme spiritual leader in Afghanistan, as reported by local media. The Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party has advocated for a postponement of Pakistan’s polls due to security apprehensions.

This latest attack echoes a previous incident in December, where 23 soldiers lost their lives in a suicide squad’s assault on a military camp located within a police station complex in Draban. The resurgence of militant attacks, particularly targeting security personnel, has intensified in Pakistan since the breakdown of a ceasefire between the Pakistani Taliban and the government in 2022.

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