Islamabad: At least seven persons, including policemen and power utility workers, were on Tuesday killed by terrorists who destroyed a grid station during an attack on the outskirts of Peshawar city in Pakistan's restive northwest.
One policeman and an employee of the power utility were killed instantly when about 50 terrorists attacked the grid station at Badabher, a suburb of Peshawar, shortly after 1 am. Nine persons were reported missing after the attack and the bodies of five of them were found in fields around the grid station on Tuesday morning, police officials said.
Four workers of the Water Resources and Power Development Authority, including two engineers, were still missing and security forces launched a search operation to trace them.
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa has witnessed a sharp spike in violence by the Taliban ahead of the May 11 general election.
Two policemen and five workers of WAPDA were among the dead, police said. The attackers targeted the grid station with rockets after cutting the barbed wire fence around it.
They torched seven vehicles and four transformers and exchanged fire with the policemen for some time. Footage on television showed the wall surrounding the grid station was badly damaged by explosions.
Several burnt vehicles and equipment could be seen within the compound. Several areas of Peshawar plunged into darkness after the attack on the grid station.
WAPDA employees called for protests across Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province and said they would close their offices and halt their operations. No group claimed responsibility for the incident though such attacks are usually blamed on the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa has witnessed a sharp spike in violence by the Taliban ahead of the May 11 general election. The Taliban have threatened to attack election rallies of the Pakistan People's Party, Muttahida Qaumi Movement and Awami National Party, which ruled Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa for the past five years.