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03 October 2023

Six killed in attack on Pakistan woman constable


Militants armed with rockets and rifles raided the house of a female police constable in Pakistan's troubled northwest early Friday, killing her and five relatives, officials said.

The officer Shamshad Begum, targeted in the pre-dawn attack in Tootkas town, in the district of Hangu, had been receiving Taliban death threats for some time, senior administration official Khalid Khan told AFP.

The area borders the deeply conservative tribal region of Kurram, he said.

Local police official Fazal Hussain said about a dozen militants armed with rockets, handgrenades and assault rifles raided the house at 3:30am (22:30GMT), first launching a rocket before barging into the house and opening fire.

Begum was killed along with her two sons and one daughter, and two sisters of her husband. Two other sons and one daughter were wounded in the attack.

The Taliban are engaged in a campaign of violence against security forces in Pakistan, a key ally in the US-led "war against terror", and had recently sent Begum letters warning her to quit her job.

The militants entrenched in the lawless tribal region on the Afghan border oppose jobs and education for women.

Around 4,000 people have died in suicide and bomb attacks across Pakistan since government forces launched an attack against militants in a mosque in Islamabad in 2007.

The bombings have been blamed on terror networks linked to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

A suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden car into a police station in nearby Bannu on Wednesday, killing 18 people, mostly security officials, and wounding 15 others.

The Taliban claimed the attack in revenge for US drone strikes on the rugged tribal areas.