Pak Taliban claim responsibility for attack on Karachi police headquarters

Karachi, Feb 17 (IANS) Armed terrorists have attacked the office of the Karachi police chief located on main Sharea Faisal with an operation currently underway, according to officials, media reports said.
The banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the attack, Dawn reported.
Reports of firing on Sharea Faisal Karachi’s main thoroughfare with a number of strategic installations, including the Pakistan Air Force’s Faisal Base emerged at around 7:15 p.m. local time.
Three floors of the five-storey building have been cleared so far, said Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, adding that two floors and the rooftop still remained.
He also said it is too early to confirm casualties as reports are still coming in, Dawn reported.
A spokesperson for the Sindh Rangers said initial estimates suggest that there are eight to 10 armed terrorists inside the police headquarters.
In a separate statement, the spokesperson said a Brigadier of the counter-terrorism force is leading the operation, adding that Rangers are working on clearing the fourth floor, Dawn reported.
South DIG Irfan Baloch said that “spectacular” firing was going on, but said that the situation would be brought under control. He, however, refused to comment on the number of people injured, saying that it could only be confirmed once officials sweep the area.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah hinted that foreign hands could be involved in the attack on the Karachi Police Office (KPO), Samaa TV reported.
Sanaullah said that he has received a briefing on the attack from the Inspector General of Sindh Police and the Sindh Chief Secretary.
“Only one terror outfit could be behind the attack,” he stressed.
The minister said the terrorists lobbed grenades to gain access to the police office.
Asked whether he had any knowledge about a threat to the KPO, Sanaullah denied any such threat alert.
“There was a general threat of terrorism across the country but there was no specific threat for this office,” he said.

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