Taliban behead civilian, cops strike back

Muhammad Iqbal, a civilian employee of the police station in Matta sub-district, was beheaded at his home at Sambat Cham early on Saturday.

The gruesome killing prompted policemen to launch a counterattack against the Taliban for the first time in the past two years, The News reported. Policemen killed a militant and demolished seven houses belonging to rebels.

They also arrested a suspected militant after an exchange of fire during a raid on Taliban hideouts.

District police chief Sajid Mohmad confirmed the killing of a militant. “We and the army soldiers patrolling streets in the valley and keeping a vigil on militants,” he said.

Beheading victims is one of the gruesome attacks the Taliban employ against their rivals, mostly security personnel.

Dozens of policemen have met the same fate at the hands of Taliban which film such acts on videos and circulate them to instil fear in the people.

After attacks by the Taliban, the police force in Swat saw over 800 desertions during the past two years. Officials too were reluctant to take part in anti-Taliban action as they were not trained for counter-insurgency operations.

PTI

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