Dozens of gunmen have attacked a grid station in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar, killing at least seven people, kidnapping a number of others, and disrupting power supplies to the area.
Pakistani officials said that, early on Tuesday, around 50 militants fired rockets and shot at an electricity plant run by the Peshawar Electricity Supply Company(PESCO) in Badh Bher in the suburbs of the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.
" One PESCO employee and one policeman were killed on the spot. The militants then kidnapped seven PESCO employees and three policemen. Later, we found the bodies of three PESCO officials and two policemen, " said spokesman Shaukat Afzal.
"Four power house employees and one policeman are still missing,” he added. According to officials, the grid station was completely destroyed in the attack as it caught fire, causing power outages for residents in parts of Peshawar. Northwestern Pakistan has faced increasing violence as the country is preparing to hold a general election and provincial polls on May 11. A roadside bomb in the northwestern city of Bannu killed two people and injured six others on Monday, including a former lawmaker, who was a candidate for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s provincial assembly. Thousands of Pakistanis have lost their lives in bombings and other militant attacks since October 2001, when Pakistan joined an alliance with the United States in its so-called war on terror. Since late 2009, there has been a surge in militant attacks in Pakistan and thousands more have been displaced by the wave of violence and militancy sweeping across the country.