The Taliban killed three policemen and five power utility workers in an attack today on a power grid station in the provincial capital of Peshawar. The Taliban attack team, which is estimated to have been comprised of more than 40 fighters, fired rocket-propelled grenades and planted explosives at the substation, and also captured and tortured the police and utility workers before killing them, according to Dawn. Four more workers are missing and presumed to be in Taliban captivity:
Wajahat, a local native of the area told Dawn.com that the cops and the Wapda [Water and Power Development Authority] officials were brutally tortured by the militants.
“We saw that some of the people were first thrashed with axes and then their bodies were badly broken into pieces, after which they were shot to death many times.”
Four Wapda officials are still missing and the search is on for them, he added.
The Commander Tariq Afridi Group, one of the most dangerous Taliban factions, operates in Peshawar, as well as in Arakzai, Hangu, Khyber, and Kohat. On Dec. 30, 2012, the Tariq Afridi group executed 21 Pakistani policemen after capturing them during raids in Peshawar. Although Tariq Afridi, the group’s emir, is rumored to have been killed, his death has not been confirmed by the Taliban.
Security in Peshawar has deteriorated over the past several weeks. The Taliban have launched two suicide attacks in Peshawar since mid-March, and several other attacks have been reported in and around the city.
The Pakistani government insists that it has “broken [the] Taliban’s back,” but as recent events in Peshawar show, nothing can be further from the truth.
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