PESHAWAR, Pakistan: Unidentified gunmen killed five police officers on patrol in Pakistan’s troubled northwest late Monday, police said.
A civilian driving a passing car was also killed, with two policemen and another civilian left wounded in the attack in the town of Badaber, a flashpoint for violence in the district of Peshawar.
“(An) unknown number of attackers ambushed the police patrol, five policemen and a driver of a private vehicle have been killed,” senior police official Najeeb Ur Rehman told AFP.
“When policemen tried to move to a safer place another group of attackers opened fire from that side,” Rehman said, adding the attackers then fled the scene.
Mohammad Ijaz Khan, police chief for Peshawar, confirmed the incident, which took place close to the semi-autonomous tribal belt where Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked groups are active.
The incident took place days after Pakistani Taliban refused to extend a ceasefire that began on March 1 to help a long-stalled peace process, complaining of a lack of movement from the government side.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) announced a one-month ceasefire at the start of March as the government sought a negotiated end to their bloody seven-year insurgency.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government began negotiations with the TTP through intermediaries in February to try to end the Islamists’ insurgency.
Since the TTP’s fight began in 2007, more than 6,800 people have been killed in bomb and gun attacks around Pakistan, according to an AFP tally.