Policeman killed, bank heist foiled
KARACHI, Dec 27: A police constable was killed and another policeman was wounded in an exchange of fire with half a dozen armed bandits while foiling a bank heist in Orangi Town on Thursday.
With the latest killing, the number of policemen gunned down in the city during the current year has reached 121.
Also wounded in the firing was one of the bandits whose accomplices took him away along with the weapons they had snatched from a private bank guard and the wounded policeman, the police said.
Two of the bandits were reportedly wearing police shirts and caps, the officials said.
The robbery attempt was made at a private bank branch on Shahrah-i-Orangi in Orangi No 5, said an official of the Orangi Town police station.
He said the five suspects entered the bank branch in pairs after taking the private security guard and police constable Aslam Shera, 45, hostage at gunpoint. When the police official tried to resist their entry they shot at him, he said.
The gunshots caught the attention of another police constable, Javed Saleem, who was on duty at a nearby cellphone franchise. He rushed to the branch and fired multiple shots creating panic among the bandits and an exchange of fire ensued, the police said.
Police constable Saleem was wounded in the shoot-out. According to him, a suspect was also shot at and wounded in the exchange of fire. He was taken away by his fleeing accomplices.
Later, both policemen were rushed to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital where police constable Shera died while Saleem was admitted for treatment.
The police investigators said the bandits did not take away the digital video recording system from the premises. Some of the bandits were masked and were bearded, they added.
Following the incident, a magazine of 9mm pistol found at the bank branch was sent to the police forensic division for an examination, the police investigators said.
DSP Zahid Siddiqui said the CCTV footage showed five bandits entering the branch in pairs while keeping their weapons concealed.
When the bank guard asked them to uncover their faces, they snatched his repeater and an AK-47 assault rifle of the police constable, the officer said.
He said the bandits looked like members of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan.