This event comes a few days before the legislative and provincial elections scheduled for Thursday. Violence has escalated as the elections approach, with dozens of attacks against candidates or supporters of political parties being recorded. “More than 30 terrorists launched an attack from three directions.
There was gunfire for over two and a half hours,” said Akhtar Hayat Gandapur, the police chief of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, to AFP. The assailants briefly took control of the post during the attack, which began around 1:30 in the morning, according to the same source. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa border region has long been hit by attacks from Islamist militants.
The Pakistani Taliban (Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan) and the regional branch of the Islamic State (IS) particularly target security forces. Islamabad believes that some of these attacks are planned from Afghan soil, where the assailants allegedly have “sanctuaries,” a claim that Kabul denies. In 2023, over 1500 civilians, security force members, and insurgents were killed, the highest toll in six years, according to the Islamabad-based Centre for Research and Security Studies.
Election campaigns in Pakistan are generally marked by episodes of violence. Many candidates and voters have been targeted in the past by armed attacks and bombings carried out by Islamist insurgents.