Gunmen kidnap seven police officers in Pakistan's Punjab province

Gunmen from criminal gangs kidnap seven Pakistani police officers in an attack on a checkpoint in Punjab province.

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Pakistani officials said on Sunday dozens of gunmen from criminal gangs attacked on a checkpoint in the northwestern province of Punjab and kidnapped seven police officers.  

Gunmen targeted a police checkpoint in Obaro, in Punjab province, said District Police Officer Sohail Chatha.

"We have launched a rescue operation," said Chatha.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s office also announced that the government took "serious notice" of the kidnapping on Sunday.

Pakistan has an increasing militant insurgency in north Waziristan near the porous Afghan border while some separatists and gangs operate in its Western borders near Iran and India where Punjab and Balochistan provinces placed.

The both regions seem very vulnerable to insurgency, separatism and organized crimes where the Pakistani state authority has been gradually undermined.

North Waziristan and Khyber agency, the two of seven semi-autonomous tribal regions in Pakistan, are also believed to be the new bastion of Pakistani Taliban militants who perceive Pakistani army and NATO as their arch enemies in the region.

At least 44 militants were killed in an aerial operation carried out by the Pakistan army jets in the country’s remote North Waziristan region and Khyber agency tribal areas, Pakistan army said on Saturday.

The Pakistani Taliban, known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), has increased its offensive against the Pakistani army since the militant group splitted from the Afghan Taliban in 2007.

Pakistani army has increased its effort to cope with the militant insurgency since the last year’s school attack in Peshawar. The ongoing operations left behind nearly 2600 militants dead, whereas 100 Pakistani soldiers have been killed by the militants.


TRTWorld and agencies